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Authors: Anuru-yeng, D.A.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Mining is seen as a key profitable accomplishment which has the latent of contributing to the growth of economies. At the same time, the environmental and health implications of mining on communities have been a major concern in recent times. This study examined the environmental and health implications of artisanal gold mining (ASGM) in Kadema in the Builsa North District in the Upper East Region. Two communities within the district were covered for the data required for the study. These communities in the district were purposively chosen because of the fact that they are the communities where ASGM is taking place, which are Bachonsa and Chansa. Purposive sampling was used to select officials from the district assembly and health centres in the two communities as well as Households .The main objective was to produce a sample that was logically assumed to be representative of the population. On the other hand, accidental sampling was used to select the artisanal miners. The sample was haphazardly gathered by interviewing the first people the researcher runned into in the mining community who were of the sound mind and willing to talk. The main instruments for primary data collection were questionnaires, interview schedules and in-depth interview guides. A total of 160 respondents were interviewed for data. Quantitative methods as well as additional qualitative methods were employed to analyse the data collected. The study revealed that ASGM undertakings have given rise to land degradation leading to inadequate land for local food production and other purposes. There is pollution, which has affected mainly water resources, with major dam being the only source of water becoming unsafe for drinking and other domestic uses. Air and noise pollution are also apparent in the area. The collective effects of environmental problems have translated into health vi problems with high incidence of ailments such as malaria, typhoid, cholera, respiratory tract infections and skin diseases as compared to previous records from the health facility. Uncovered mined pits have become breeding places for mosquitoes and the constant grinding of soils and stones usually produce dust and noise where some respondents testified that they have become asthma patients because of the dust they have been inhaling during the grinding process. The Builsa North District Assembly should establish environmentally responsible mining practices trainings and follow-ups made to check the mining practices. Also, the District Assembly as well as private individuals should educate artisanal gold miners on sustainable mining methods and provision of alternative livelihood programs (ALP). www
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