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Small-Scale diamond mining operations has brought economic prosperity to the mining communities in the Kwaebibirem District in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
They have also brought in their wake environmentally-related problems.
Most of the damage done to the environment has been due to both lack of knowledge and neglect on the part of the miners as well as lack of proper co-ordination from environmental institutions and officers.
The study conducted involved; physico-chemical, bacteriological and macroinvertebrate analysis of the water bodies used for the sifting of the ore to determine any possible pollution from mining activities.
A social survey was conducted in the selected communities by way of questionnaire administration to determine the awareness of the miners as well as non-miners of the impact of the small-scale mining.
The results indicated negative impact of mining activities on both water bodies and on health.
Most of the respondents agreed that mining had affected their communities.
Over 74% of them admitted mining had affected the quality of water in the communities.
Substance abuse was also indicated positively by the respondents.
Joseph Addo Ampofo is a Water Resources Microbiologist and holds a PHD in Bacteriology.
He is the Director of the CSIR Water Research Institute, Accra, Ghana.
His is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon.
His taught areas include Water Resources Management, Microbiology, Virology and Modern Trends in Fungal Biotechnology.
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