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The Impact of Artisanal Small-Scale Mining on Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of Mining Communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of Ghana

Baah-Ennumh, Theresa Yaaba and Forson, Joseph Ato (2015): The Impact of Artisanal Small-Scale Mining on Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of Mining Communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of Ghana. Published in: World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development , Vol. 13, No. 3 (10 July 2017): pp. 204-222.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of artisanal small-scale mining on sustainable livelihoods in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of Ghana. The study seeks to answer the following questions: (1) what is the impact of artisanal small-scale mining on livelihoods in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality? (2) What measures could be put in place to ensure the sustainability of livelihoods in the municipality? Case study approach to inquiry was used in the study. The authors used interview guides (structured and unstructured) to collect primary data from a sample of 400 household heads, nineteen institutions, six Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) firms, six mineral processing companies, and two gold buying agents, and traditional authorities from the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality. The findings of the study indicate among other things that; land has been rendered unproductive due to the inability of the dominant ASM firms to reclaim lands after mining. The workers’ exposure to cyanide and mercury makes them vulnerable to all manner of health risks which is a threat to the sustenance of livelihoods. Owing to the unsustainable nature of mining activities, the future indicates not only increases in unemployment, but also environmental degradation and health concerns.

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