The Impact of Illegal Mining on the Ghanaian Youth: Evidence From Kwaebibirem District In Ghana

Edwin Eric Owusu, Gabriel Dwomoh


The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of illegal mining on the Ghanaian youth, using Kwaebibirem district in Ghana as a case study. The prominent of this activity in the district triggered the researchers to undertake this study to expose some of its effects on the youth in the district which include destruction of farms, pollution of rivers and destruction of educational infrastructures.  Using a case study approach, the research work used interviews, observations and documentary sources to obtain data for the study.  In addition, the researchers toured some of the mining areas such as Akwatia, Kade, Wenchi, Topremang, Apinamang, Takrowase, Adankrono and Soabe (all towns in the Kwaebibirem District of Ghana), to acquaint themselves with the activities of the miners and how these affect the youth.  Finally, the researchers contacted Chief Nursing Officer of Kade Government Hospital and Educational Officers of the statistical division of Kade Education Office to interview and had discussions with them over the attitudes of the youth towards school before and after “their illegal mining activities”.  The research through the sources identified above showed that poverty, ignorance and get rich quick attitude of the youth have been identified as the motivational factors for illegal mining activities in the Kwaebibirem District.  It also showed that illegal mining activities have negative impact on the youth in relation to high rate of student turnover, increase in teenage pregnancy, disrespect towards the elderly and engaging in undesirable behaviours such as smoking of hard herbs.  The study gives it main recommendation as the need for the government of Ghana to put measures to discourage the youth from illegal mining activities if the country wants to reap full benefits from these youth in the future in terms of their potentials.

Keywords:  Illegal mining, gold, diamond, youth, inhabitants, Ghana

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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