Akiulizwa juu ya hatari za uchimbaji uranium, Waziri wa Maliasili na Utalii ametoa tamko kwamba, "Labda niseme kwamba, kama kuna mtu ambaye anaweza kunipa ushahidi wa madhara yaliyoletwa na uchimbaji wa uranium duniani aniletee. Ninachojua mimi ni kwamba madini ya haya huwa hayana madhara yoyote wakati yanachimbwa bali madhara yake yanaweza yakatokea wakati wa kusindikwa. Ningependa kumjulisha Waziri Kagasheki yafuatayo, hasa ukizingatia kwamba Selous ni eneo la wanadamu na wanyama ambao wengine wanatumika kwa chakula: Health risks of of Uranium mining for the local population Not only natural uranium from the ore gives off radioactivity, serious health risks are posed by the heaps, tailings and evaporation ponds. The left-over rock itself is radioactive, the slurry and chemicals used to make "yellow cake" are highly toxic. One of the dangers that the tailings pose is the contamination of groundwater through the porous separating layer, erosion and seeping rainwater. Another danger is caused by the insufficient covering of the tailings. Erosion through wind carries radioactive particles and radon many kilometers away from the heaps. The immense amount of water that is required by uranium mining represents another problem. For instance: Greenpeace, ROTAB - the NGO network of Niger, and CRIIRAD French Research Laboratory examined the effects of uranium mines in Niger. They concluded that, among other things, the mines had used 270 billion litres of water over 40 years of operation. After its use in uranium mining the contaminated water was dumped back into rivers and lakes. As well as the direct health effects of the contaminated water, the large consumption of water damages the mining region both ecologically and economically - therefore in turn human health. The extraction of water leads to a reduction of the groundwater table and to desertification; plants and animals die, the traditional means of subsistence for the local population is thus destroyed. The authors of the study report that the waste rock from the mines is used for improving roads and building houses in Niger. Radioactive metal and articles from the mines are reused by the local population and sometimes even used to make cooking utensils. Even when uranium is no longer extracted, the health risks remain. Usually, unused mines are flooded with water. This leads the mine water - contaminated with radioactivity and heavy metals, seeping into the groundwater. Due to wind erosion from inadequately covered heaps and tailings, leaky tailings dams and the contamination of water, radioactive substances are incorporated into the body through both the respiratory - and via the food chain - digestion systems. The whole population in the area surrounding the mine is endangered. Lung cancer, leukemia, stomach cancer and birth defects are the diseases most often to be found as a result of uranium mining. Source: Uranium Mining, Health and Indigenous Peoples: Fact sheet Uranium Mining 4: Preconference of the IPPNW - World Congress, 26 August 2010, University of Basel, Germany.