Assessing the effects of stone quarrying: the case of Wenchi municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana

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September, 2015
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The geological formation that underlain the Wenchi Municipality has attracted a number of quarrying companies into the Municipality to the extent that the industry has gradually gained prominence and serve as a source of employment and revenue for the Communities, Traditional Council and Wenchi Municipal Assembly (Wenchi Municipal Assembly, 2006). However, there have been several concerns raised by many people especially the host communities who are farmers and depend mainly on agriculture for their livelihood, with regards to land degradation, pollution and deforestation resulting from the operations of quarry companies. This study was therefore undertaken to examine the operational methods used in quarrying activities by quarry companies, assess critically the economic, environmental and social effects of the quarrying activities, identify and assess existing mitigating measures by quarry companies in the Wenchi Municipality, and provide policy recommendations on sustainable stone quarrying in the Wenchi Municipality. This research adopted the Case Study Approach and employed purposive and simple random sampling techniques to elicit relevant information for this research. In all this research, we directly interviewed 140 respondents including institutions (Household heads (90), the Environmental Protection Agency (3), the Traditional Authorities (9), Wenchi Municipal Assembly (8), Key Informants (24) and the Quarry Companies (6)) through the use of semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides to supplement secondary data from literature. It was revealed from this research that, all the quarrying companies in the Municipality use the open cast method of quarry extraction with both simple and sophisticated equipments. The effects identify were among others the destruction of habitat, destruction of the environment, social corporate responsibility, cracks in buildings, payments of taxes and royalties, employment creation and wages generation. Following the potentially negative environmental effects of quarrying, a number of extenuation measures including warning signals, watering trucks, timing restriction of activities and environmental awareness and sensitization programmes among others are being implemented to decrease the adverse impact of quarrying. This research recommended that stakeholders in the quarrying industry be made aware of the negative environmental effects associated with quarrying to enable the adoption of best practices to enhance environmental sustainability.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in Partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning.