Illegal Chinese gold mining in Amansie West, Ghana - an assessement of its impact and implications
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The thesis’ objective is to assess the impact of Chinese illegal miners in the Amansie West District in Ghana. The illegal mining sector is seen as having several negative effects, environmentally as well as socially and economically. The influx of some 20-50 000 Chinese miners into Ghana is found to increase these impacts. The Chinese illegal miners operate largely on farmland, which is bought from locals for the sum equivalent of approximately 6.5 years of farming income. This leads to a loss of long-term income for the farmer as well as the degradation of large land areas, which in the case of Amansie West is here estimated to cost between GHS 64 and 108 million to restore. Social effects indicated to originate from the Chinese miners are increased prevalence of HIV and malaria as well as symptoms associated with mercury pollution and decline in school attendance. It is thus argued that their presence contributes to a decrease in human capital and farmland, in addition to various positive and negative economic effects including a rise in food prices. Further, the study argues that the government’s limited capacity, and a long-lasting trend of bad implementation of the country’s small-scale mining policies, is a contributor to the situation’s magnitude. In relation to this it is also found that Ghana’s policy framework for the small-scale mining sector can be described as insufficient in both mitigating the impacts and solving the situation. This entails a low level of participation between the government and the grass-root, as well as the former’s lack of provision of community needs like infrastructure and fertilizers. The latter is argued to increase local’s susceptibility to welcome the Chinese miners as they contribute to increased income for local miners and as well as the provision of infrastructure and public needs through something reminiscent of CSR initiatives.
Master thesis in development management - University of Agder 2014