Health and Well-being Associated with Small-scale Gold Mining in Amansie West District, Ghana (2019-2020)

Gold plays an integral part in Ghana’s social and economic development and currently accounts for a third of Ghana’s overall export revenue. Increasingly, gold extraction is transitioning from large mining operations to small-scale, often illegal, mining ventures.

Informal small-scale gold mining in Ghana typically occurs in shallow pits where earth material is removed, crushed, washed, amalgamated with mercury and then burned to extract trace amounts of gold. Airborne exposure to mercury that is burned through the mining process has serious permanent health impacts for both individuals who work directly in mining, as well as members of their households and inhabitants of the surrounding communities.

This project team assessed the health and well-being of informal gold miners in the Amansie West District of Ghana in partnership with Millennium Promise (MP) Ghana. The team designed, implemented and analyzed an observational, mixed-methods study to describe small-scale gold mining in Amansie West. Through a comparison of miners, their household members and non-mining community members, team members found that small-scale goldmining is primarily motivated by poor educational and economic prospects and its effects have implications for food production and human and environmental health.

Timing

Spring 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Health and Well-being Associated with Small-scale Gold Mining in Amansie West District, Ghana (poster by Tenzin Choeyang, Abena Antobre)

The Socioeconomic Drivers of Galamsey in Amansie South, Ghana (poster by Ahmad Tejan-Sie)

This Team in the News

Meet the Winners of the 2020 Bass Connections Student Research Awards

 

Image by Agence France-Presse

Gold miner in Ghana by Agence France-Presse.

Team Leaders

  • Fred Boadu, Pratt School of Engineering-Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • William Pan, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Mozhgon Rajaee, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Melissa Watt, Duke Global Health Institute

/graduate Team Members

  • Reshma Nargund, Environment-PHD
  • Ahmad Tejan-Sie, Global Health - MSc

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Abena Antobre, Biology (BS), Global Health (AB2)
  • Tenzin Choeyang

Theme(s):