Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 391

Full Length Research Paper

Environmental and rural livelihoods implications of small-scale gold mining in Talensi-Nabdam Districts in Northern Ghana

Jonathan Ontoyin
  • Jonathan Ontoyin
  • Department of Development Studies, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Isaac Agyemang
  • Isaac Agyemang
  • Department of Planning, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 22 May 2014
  •  Accepted: 23 September 2014
  •  Published: 31 October 2014


Small-scale mining (SSM) continues to pose complex environmental, health and livelihood problems among rural folks in mining communities. One of the most subtle impacts of SSM activity on the environment is its implications on rural livelihoods. However, most studies regarding SSM activity and the environment sideline their implications on rural livelihoods of residents mining communities and how the affected communities cope with such effects. The purpose of this study was to examine the environmental impact of SSM small-scale mining and its implication on the rural livelihoods of Yale, Digari and Datuko in the Talensi-Nabdam Districts in Northern Ghana. Also examined in this study are the adaptive strategies employed by affected members to cope with the SSM activity in the study area. This has become necessary as rural folks are the hardest hit in terms of the negative effects of small-scale mining. Adopting qualitative research approach in sourcing data, the study demonstrated an interesting linkage between the SSM activity, the natural environment and rural livelihoods as the activity tends to destroys more sustainable natural resource based and rural livelihoods and also provides and diversifies other non-mining livelihood sources. Hence affected community members tend to adapt strategies to cope with SSM activities. The contention of this article is that there is the need for effective collaboration of stakeholder both at the local and national level on policy making and implementation on SSM small-scale mining activities and environmental management.


Key words: Small-scale mining, rural livelihoods implications, farming, Talensi-Nabdam Districts, Yale, Digari and Datuko