Mining in Ghana has its most adverse impacts on host communities in spite of the benefits thataccrue to the national economy and mining companies. The aim of this study was mainly to: 1)examine the impacts of limestone mining on farmers assets; 2) examine the role of chieftaincyinstitutional factors of power and culture and how they affect farmer’s access to assets (mininginduced benefits) at the local level; 3) Explore the coping strategies of affected farmers.
The study employed ideas mainly from the Sustainable Livelihood Frameworkcomplemented with ideas from political ecology focusing on the concepts of power and culture.The study was analyzed based on ideas from this theories and concepts. Following the qualitativeresearch methodology, the study drew on interviews, focus group discussions as well asobservations to solicit the views of 34 primary informants (farmers) and 10 key informants onthe topic. The informants were selected from the two limestone mining communities ofOdugblase and Bueryonye (otherwise known as the twin villages due to their proximity).Thechoice of both communities was to enrich the data because farmers from both communities lostland to the same concession.
The study revealed that limestone mining has adversely affected farmer’s assets. It alsorevealed that this was largely due to the role of the traditional council (chieftaincy institution) inthe mining process. Institutional factors such as power relations and the culture of obedience tochiefs constrained farmer’s access to mining induced benefits (assets). The traditional councildid not involve farmers in the decision making process and even when they do, their voices didnot count due to the hierarchical nature of decision making. Farmers’ inability to demand foraccountability made the traditional council (hierarchy of chiefs) irresponsive to them. Copingstrategies employed by farmers were varied with the most vibrant one being livelihooddiversification.
The study therefore concludes that, for mining to benefit host communities, attentionmust be given to the local chieftaincy institutional politics of power as the major determinant ofwho gets what, whose rationality counts as knowledge and whose interest prevails. Programsmust also be implemented to support livelihood diversification as a coping strategy as well asfarmers in rural communities must be empowered to demand their rights.
2012. , 131 p.