My name is Rubainatu Chalpang Adam, a YouthMappers Research Fellow from Ghana and my project is on the Effects of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining on Women and Children in Tarkwa Mining Community. My team of volunteers (UMaT YouthMappers) and I made a journey visiting areas where mining(both legal and illegal) and other mining related activities were taking place for our community engagement and field data collection.
We were able to collect responses for our questionnaires from volunteers using Kobo Toolbox. Some of the workers at the various mine sites had reservations about speaking to the team because of past experiences with researchers and regulations on small-scale mines by the Government. Others were willing to share their stories with us and also let the team administer the prepared survey questionnaires.
Ownership of Regulated Mining Sites
Data on the twenty-six (26) mining sites that have been vetted and/or mapped by the IMCIM in the Tarkwa - Nsuaem Municipality indicated that 25% of companies were fully or partly owned by women. Two legally owned mining sites belong to females (representing 8%).
The women cited lack of unemployment and the need to take care of their families as the reasons for taking up these jobs in the mines. These jobs have no social security and the little money earned is spent on the upkeep of their family so there is none left to take care of the health conditions (severe and frequent neck pains and coughs due to dust inhalations) they face due to the nature of their jobs.
My appreciation goes to YouthMappers and USAID GeoCenter for giving me this opportunity. I am especially grateful to my mentor Dr Mrs Naa Dedei Tagoe Mantey and Enock Seth Nyamador for the insightful contributions towards the research and to UMaT YouthMappers I say a big Thank you. I also wish to acknowledge the kind support of the Minerals Commission in proving the UMaT YouthMappers Team access to speak to the miners at the various mining sites during field data collection stage and to the IMCIM Secretariat for providing the approximate location of legal concessions belonging to various mining companies.
Rubaina Chalpang Adam is studying Geomatic Engineering at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana and a member of UMaT YouthMappers. She recently traveled to Washington D.C. and Morgantown, West Virginia to participate in the 2018 YouthMappers Research Fellowship Symposium with her mentor, Dr. Naa Dedei Tagoe. Reader her previous blog contribution here.