Environmental impact of mining and the well-being of the people in Akwatia : a case study in Akwatia Town, Ghana

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

Abstract: Small scale mining activities started in Ghana more than 100 years ago. Around the eighteen (18) century, a lot of foreign investors engaged themselves in mining activities which resulted in the creation of jobs for the local communities; these positively increased the economic growth of Ghana. Mining activities were therefore seen with its corresponding challenges which has a positive or effect on the growth despite the negative challenges. The reason for the study is to ascertain the environmental impact of mining and the well-being of the people in Akwatia, Ghana. Illegal mining activities increased after the collapse of Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Limited (GCD), this was the company responsible for diamond mining in Ghana. Apart from the mining sector contributing to the economic growth of Ghana, mining activities has its own corresponding challenges such as political, social, and environmental as well as health related issues in Akwatia, in Ghana. The study reveals that the community is aware of the environmental impact created by illegal mining activities. Based on the arguments of the respondents, it was deduced that there has been loss of agriculture and livelihood as negative impacts of mining, especially illegal mining ‘‘galamsey’’. The community is aware of the existing situation but there must be a great awakening in terms of education and public involvement, so as to be able to create massive awareness in the community in order to reduce future impact to the environment and on the well-being of the people. Though, the practice have turn out to be a main source of revenue for the general public in Akwatia, particularly the youth, the situation put danger and hazard to the sustainability of the environment on the long run, it will also have an effect on the general public if the mine is closed again in future.

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