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Assessing the environmental and socio-economic impacts of local mining in Northern Ghana; Banda Nkwanta in the Bole district as a case study

Subouru Alhassan Bigson, M. (2019) Assessing the environmental and socio-economic impacts of local mining in Northern Ghana; Banda Nkwanta in the Bole district as a case study.

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Abstract:It is significant to identify and assess impacts of major activities such as mining in order to mitigate the adverse impacts they creates, as well as enhancing the favourable impacts. If not, as more benefits such as high revenues and infrastructure development are derived from it (mining) without caution, devastating issues would arise as a result of unsafe practices. However, mining activities have contributed significantly in uplifting several dimensions of development in developing world especially in Africa, Asia, and the Latin America. Infrastructure development, population growth, increase in employment and incomes, access to social amenities and luxury are some of the positive impacts derived from the mining. For those activities in Ghana, especially in the northern belt of the country, they are solely managed and regulated by the community members who are spearheaded by the traditional authorities in collaboration with committees. However, there are also negative impacts of mining, which may lead to serious consequences and catastrophes if care is not taken. In the Banda Nkwanta and some other communities in Northern Ghana which are involved in mining, education is an important issue that is troubled since the attention of key players (teachers, parents and students) is on the mining activity and other ways of income generation and wealth. However, parents’ incapability and sometimes unwillingness to pay the bills of their children is another factor that negatively affects education. Social problems such as prostitution, drug abuse, stealing and gambling, and conflicts are also among the negative effects that mining attracts to the operating areas. Through participant observation, face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions with community members, it was identified that mining has contributed significantly to infrastructure and human development. Though it displayed adverse impacts such as those already mentioned, its favourable impacts are relatively more significant. Few people took precautions and personal measures to control the adverse impacts of mining, while others were not concerned about them even though they are aware of them. To help enhance the positive impacts and mitigate the negative ones, several parties need to come on-board. Government, agencies in-charge of miming activities and the private sector should all collaborate with the community to put such mitigation measures in practice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77480
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