Artisanal and small-scale gold mining and food security : an ecological perspective

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 12
  • SDG 2
  • Abstract:

    Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) is one of the emerging economic activities in Uganda and thousands of local communities are involved in the gold rush. The majority of artisanal miners have abandoned other economic enterprises, such as agriculture, with the hope of improving their living standards. Given the ecological and socio-economic challenges that characterise artisanal mining sector, several questions have been raised regarding its capacity to meet the miners’ economic needs, such as food security. The author followed an exploratory-descriptive cross-sectional study design using qualitative and quantitative methods to gain a deeper understanding of how artisanal and small-scale gold mining influences food security. A total of 384 respondents were selected from a pool of artisans, minining-rights holders and local leaders. Data was collected using observation checklists, survey questionnaires and interview guides. Specific variables of interest were subjected to bivariate analysis, where respondents were included in the analysis after a log likelihood ratio test. The results showed that 96% of the dependent variables were well displayed by the variables in the model, with a sensitivity of 93.2% and a specificity of 91.6%. The findings indicated that the majority of the artisanal and small-scale miners (71%) who had changed from other livelihood enterprises such as agriculture, had less food security and lower incomes to support their economic needs. To improve food security and income in mining communities, government and other sector players should prioritise strategies, such as formalisation, legalisation and awareness.