Title: Assessment of inequalities in the livelihood between mining and non-mining workers in mining economy
Authors and Affiliations: Anthony K. Osei-Fosu1, and Peter Agyei-Baffour2
1 Department of Economics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2 Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Abstract: Mining occupies primary position in every economy endowed with mineral resources. Its role in contributing to the national economies is overwhelming. The positive impacts such as employment and community development projects are important. However, there are controversies and divergent views about the impact of small scale mining activities on an economy. These controversies and divergent views appear to emanate from the negative effects vis-à-vis the benefits derived from it. Policy makers concentrate on the negative effects; health hazards and the environmental degradation. The question is, given these negative effects, why would small scale miners not stop their operation. It appears that impact on their livelihood is enormous. To buttress this view, which may be the basis for special policy and programme for small scale miner, there is the need to undertake this study. The study adopted the ‘difference’ and ‘difference-of-difference’ methodology which was designed to quantitatively and qualitatively determine the relative difference in the livelihood; incomes and expenditures, between the two groups, and over time. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data from a sample of 200 households from Asheba community in Tarkwa-Usuam Municipality of Western Region, Ghana. The outcome of the study suggests there is vast difference in livelihood between the two groups. Secondly, as time goes on, the divergence is widening. Finally, the financial situation and livelihood of those who are engaged in small scale mining activities is getting better.