Title: Assessment of sociological and ecological impacts of sand and gravel mining - a case study of East Gonja District (Ghana) and Gunnarsholt (Iceland)

Author(s): Jafaru Adam Musah
Final project
Year of publication:
Document URL: Link
Supervisors: Bjorn H. Barkarson


Sand and gravel mining has been one of the serious environmental problems around the globe in recent years. This often results in land degradation, loss of agricultural lands and biodiversity as well increased poverty among people. In order to address these problems, pragmatic and explicit laws and regulations have to be developed by countries in a participatory manner so as to facilitate enforcement and compliance at all levels within the social settings. This study was therefore carried out to compare sand and gravel mining in the East Gonja District (EGD) of Ghana and the Gunnarsholt area of Iceland. The main objective of the study was to assess the sociological and ecological impacts of sand and gravel mining in the study areas. Specific objectives were: i) to assess agricultural losses through sand and gravel mining in the areas; ii) to gather communities’ and stakeholders’ perceptions of the socio-ecological impacts of gravel and sand mining; iii) to assess and compare regulations and policies governing such land use; iv) to suggest interventions that can assist in mitigating negative impacts that might be identified during the study. The study revealed fewer mines around Gunnarsholt than in EGD and that mining activities mostly occur in barren lands whilst in EGD the mining activities occur in productive agricultural lands. Also, the impact of gravel mining on agriculture is greater in EGD compared to the Gunnarsholt area. Policies and regulations on mining vis-à-vis monitoring and enforcement activities are quite explicit in the Gunnarsholt area compared to EGD. Other environmental impacts of the two study areas were similar and clear sociological impact appeared in the generation of conflicts and other confrontations.

Documents and links