Title: The perception of farmers in Akyem Adukrom, Eastern Region of Ghana, on using reclaimed mined-out areas for crop production

Type:
Final project
Year of publication:
2014
Supervisors: Thorunn Petursdottir
Keywords:
mining, mined-out areas, reclaimed lands, unmined areas, Ghana

Abstract

The gold mining sector in Ghana contributes substantially to the socio-economic development of the country. Unfortunately, gold mining also causes severe environmental and social problems such as ecosystem degradation that affects the livelihoods of farmers. According to Ghana’s laws, mining companies are obliged to reclaim mined-out areas and make them safe for crop production. Currently, over 1 million ha of mined land have been reclaimed and handed back to the previous land users. However, some farmers seem reluctant to cultivate these reclaimed areas. To get an insight in how successful these reclamation activities are in practice, 20 farmers that are currently farming on reclaimed mined-out areas by the gold mine company “Managing Gods’ Resources Limited” in Akyem Adukrom were interviewed about their experience and perception of cultivating the same area before mining and after reclamation and their involvement in the reclamation process. The result strongly indicated that even though in a few cases some crops seemed to be doing better on reclaimed areas than before mining, the reclaimed areas are not as fertile and productive as they were before mining. However, 16 farmers stated that reclaimed areas were as fertile as they were before mining and would recommend the cultivation of such lands to other farmers. The study indicated that some farmers were suffering from significant loss in yield but not all of them stated that to be a problem. The four farmers who perceived reclaimed lands to be contaminated and infertile, accounting for poor yields, were all part of the same cluster within the reclaimed area. None of the farmers was involved in the reclamation process. The results showed that the method applied in this study seems to be highly useful to monitor how successful the restoration activities are in practice and how the procedure can be improved further in order to secure as successful outcomes as possible.

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