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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4555

Title: Assessment of the Impact of Mining on the Land Use Systems and Livelihoods in the Obuasi Municipality
Authors: Osei-Bagyina, Augustine
Issue Date: 16-Jun-2012
Abstract: The mining sector is a very important segment of the extractive sector but has one of the most serious and disastrous environmental consequences conflicting with the livelihoods and survival of resident communities. Thus the study was conducted in the Obuasi Municipality to assess the impact of mining on the land use systems and livelihoods in the mining communities. Purposive and random sampling techniques were used and a total of 223 respondents were sampled from seven randomly sampled communities whose land use systems and livelihoods have been impacted by the mining activities. Seventy-eight farmers were sampled to assess the impact of mining on their land use systems whiles 145 respondents were sampled to determine the impact of mining on the livelihoods of the communities. Data collected was analysed with the Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) software. Descriptive statistics and multiple response tools were used for the data analysis and results presented in frequencies, percentages, means and ranges. Farming was the widely practised livelihood activity in the communities. Other livelihood activities identified were private security, trading, illegal mining, government work, AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) mining and others including labour, electricians, carpentry and driving. Farmers in the communities were into cocoa, oil palm, citrus and food crop production including cassava, cocoyam, plantain, yam and maize. These farming systems were either practised as mono cropping or mixed cropping systems, but the mixed cropping system was widely practised by farmers. Farmers in the communities faced several challenges from the mining activities in the communities. Rain-fed farming was widely practised by farmers with few farmers depending on water bodies mostly for the spraying of cocoa farms. Farmers who depended on these water bodies detected several negative effects on their crop productivity including; yellowing and dying of crops before maturity, low yields, stunted growth and rotting of crops before maturity. Majority of farmers did not face any difficulty in accessing their farmlands and transporting farm produce from farmlands to communities although some farmers encountered these problems as a result of the mining activities in the communities. The negative externalities of mining have caused reduction in crop yields. Estimated average annual yields of cocoa reduced from 207.25kg/ha to 98.03kg/ha whiles average annual yields of citrus have reduced from 4707.77kg/ha to 3883.09kg/ha over an average period of 12years. Aside the negative externalities of mining, some community residents have benefited from employment opportunities provided by AGA and companies contracted by AGA although communities were not satisfied with the number of people employed. Most of the youth engaged in illegal mining activities because of unemployment and also because no alternative livelihood project have been implemented to provide them with the requisite skills. AGA has supported communities by providing them with infrastructure like pipe-borne taps, electricity, boreholes, schools and chief’s palace and also contributes towards their maintenance, but communities had problems with the quality of water from the boreholes and pipes. Communities were not in conflict with AGA, although majority of respondents were anticipating the occurrence of future conflicts because of the destruction of community lands, lack of employment, AGA’s refusal to fulfil the request of communities, prevention of illegal mining, inadequate compensation payment and the construction of smaller relocation buildings by AGA. Educational assistance for communities was very low as dependents of AGA workers were the only people privileged to have been provided with scholarship opportunities. It was recommended that farmers in the communities should form farming groups/ association to negotiate with AGA so as to protect the interest of its members. Also AGA should provide extension services for farmers to improve their current methods of farming to maximise profits. Furthermore in order for farmers to fully concentrate on their farming activities and adequately invest in their farms, AGA should inform communities about their operational plans so that farmers will not be at risk of having their farmlands destroyed by the mining activities. Because of the high unemployment rate AGA should implement alternative livelihood projects like livestock production, carpentry, bee keeping, soap making etc. to provide residents with other sources of income. Sources of water provided for the communities should be regularly sampled to determine the quality of water and AGA should link up well with other community members aside the leaders to be fully aware of their grievances to curb any future conflict occurrence.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Resources Management, October-2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4555
Appears in Collections:College of Engineering

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