Assessing Social and Environmental Impacts of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Practices in Lolgorian, Kenya
Leonard L. Tampushi 1 * , John M. Onyari 2 , Nzioka J. Muthama 1
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1 Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, KENYA2 Department of Chemistry, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 30197-00100 Nairobi, KENYA* Corresponding Author

Abstract

The environmental implications of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) practices have significantly grown, particularly on environment, socio, and livelihoods of the mining communities. The study aims to investigates the environmental and socioeconomic consequences of these practices. A survey research design including primary data as well as a random sample process were employed in the study. A total of 250 questionnaires were distributed to randomly selection respondents across the artisanal mining and processing areas. The statistical package for social sciences version 26.0 was used to analyze the data, which included frequency distribution tables, pie charts, bar graphs, percentages, regression, and correlation analyses. According to the data, 97% of gold miners use the mercury amalgamation process, 95.5% operate illegally, and 94.3% do not conduct environmental impact assessments for their mining activities. In terms of ASGM formalization, 68.1% say that poor governance has had an influence on the process, hampered sustainable practices and operations. According to the data, 91.4% of respondents strongly agreed that ASGM provides livelihoods for both women and children, while 73.1% strongly felt that ASGM is more profitable than other forms of livelihoods. The total health implications of hazardous chemical exposure linked with ASGM activities are that 75.5% are aware of major health consequences. Unfortunately, 83.2% of individuals surveyed said they continued to burn amalgam without protective equipment. The environmental implications of ASGM operations have significantly grown, particularly in terms of forest destruction and soil and water contamination (60.4%). The data from model fitting revealed that, at p=0.05, trends, practices, and governance structures were statistically significant with independent variables (X1, X2, X3, and X4) in predicting ASGM environmental sustainability. According to the data, Nagelkerke=0.198, or about 20% of the variance in mining operations in the ASGM sector, may be attributed to the four independent variables. According to the findings of the study, ASGM’s current practices and governance structures have a major influence on the sector’s environmental sustainability. The study suggests that ASGM formalization be accelerated and decentralized, and that governance mechanisms be operationalized in order to improve miners’ skills and knowledge through education and socioeconomic development. Promoting miners’ self-regulation is also essential for ensuring environmental sustainability.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EUR J SUSTAIN DEV RES, Volume 6, Issue 3, 2022, Article No: em0192

https://doi.org/10.21601/ejosdr/12153

Publication date: 07 Jun 2022

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Article Downloads: 1928

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