Religious & Philosophical

EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL SMALL SCLALE GOLD MINING ON THE ENVIRONMENT: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED COMMUNITIES WITHIN THE AMANSIE WEST DISTRICT

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The upsurge in illegal gold mining activities, popularly known as “galamsey operation” has left in its wake, loss of ecosystems and increased poverty levels especially among peasant farmers who depend solely on environmental resources for a living.
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  KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, KUMASI COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT OF LAND ECONOMY Effects of Illegal Small Scale Gold Mining Activities on the Environment: Case Study of Selected Communities in the Amansie West District. A Dissertation Presented to the Department of Land Economy in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Bsc. (Hons) Degree in Land Economy   BY OBENG SAMUEL AMOAKO-ARTHUR ISAAC BUABENG YAW ISAAC GYASI-TENKORANG JENNIFER ADUSEI ROCKLYN SOSI HELENA OHUI MAY, 2015  ii DECLARATION (a) ―We declare that we have wholly undertaken the study reported herein under supervision‖. OBENG SAMUEL ……………………………… AMOAKO- ARTHUR ISAAC ……………………………… BUABENG YAW I SAAC …..………………………….. GYASI- TENKORANG JENNIFER ……………………………… ADUSEI ROCKLYN ……………………………… SOSI HELENA OHUI ……………………………...  (STUDENTS) (SIGNATURE) DATE……………………….   (b) ―I declare that I have supervised  the students in undertaking the study reported herein and I confirm that the students have my permission to present it for assessment‖   …..………………………… DATE………………………  PROF JOHN TIA BUGRI (SUPERVISOR)  iii DEDICATION We first and foremost dedicate this project to the almighty God, JEHOVAH for His endless guidance and limitless love. Secondly, to our supportive and devoted supervisor Prof. John Tia Bugri, and to all who assisted with any information vital towards the completion of this project. We are eternally grateful.  iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS To God be the Glory, Great things he has done and great things he will do! If the Lord had not been on our side, let Isreal say… where would we have been? Indeed, we have come to this far by grace. What more can we say? THANK YOU JESUS FOR YOUR MERCY AND EXTRA-ORDINARY GRACE! We are grateful to the Almighty God who has made all things possible for us to accomplish this task; we owe a debt of gratitude to Him. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our supervisor, Prof. John Tia Bugri for the enthusiasm and close supervision, constructive criticisms and encouragement that spurred us on. His commitment is highly valued. We also thank the following people and institutions who made information available to us; Chiefs and people of Manso (especially Mim, Ankam, Mpatasie, Agoroyesum, Yawkrom), the District Mining Desk Officer, Amansie West District and the entire fraternity of the Amansie West District Assembly whose immense contributions assisted in the completion of the dissertation. Our sincere gratitude goes to Dachaga Walter (Teaching and Research Assistant, Department of Land Economy) who assisted us with the data analysis process. In addition, we would like to thank all respondents and those who contributed to the successful completion of the writing of this dissertation. We say, God bless you!  v ABSTRACT The upsurge in illegal gold mining activities, popularly known as ―galamsey operation‖ has left in its wake, loss of ecosystems and increased poverty levels especially among peasant farmers who depend solely on environmental resources for a living. Illegal mining activities for instance scar the landscape with excavated pits and trenches which in effect render the land unsuitable for any other purpose. It is therefore high time more rigorous studies on the phenomenon were undertaken to critically examine the effects and to find measures to remedy the problem. The study was therefore undertaken to examine the effects of illegal mining on the environment using some selected communities within the Amansie West District of Ashanti Region, as the case study areas. The sought to identify the driving forces of illegal mining in the district, assess the effects of the activity on vegetation cover, landscape and water bodies, the extent of damage the activity and proffer practical recommendations to curb illegal small scale mining and its effects in the study area. The researchers relied on both secondary and primary sources (questionnaires and interviews) to gather relevant data to support the research. Field Observations enabled the researchers to get acquainted with conditions prevailing at galamsey areas. Literature on this subject matter were carefully studied and reviewed. The data gathered revealed that unemployment, poverty and easy land access were the major driving forces of illegal mining in mining communities. The study also revealed that illegal small scale miners used the surface mining method to carry out their operations. Apart from decline in agriculture in mining communities, the study also points out that the presence of tailing dumps, the use of toxic chemicals, the use of heavy machinery, clearing of vegetation and failure of illegal miners to refill excavated sites
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