The Economic and Environmental Impacts on Clay Harvesting at Abonko in the Mfantsiman West District of Central Region, Ghana
Keywords:clay, degradation, economical, environment, harvesting.
Basically, clay is a natural earth material with plastic properties. It becomes cohesive when kneaded, expands when wet, shrinks when dry and gains strength when fired. In Ghana, Clay is a widely distributed and abundant natural mineral resource for mainly industrial and economic importance for variety of uses. In Ghana, the most common and famous way of clay harvesting is by open pit method. Most clay harvesters normally abandon the harvested site after their harvesting activities without any effort to reclaim it. Therefore, the main purpose of the study is to find out the economic and environmental impact of clay harvesting at Abonko in the Mfantsiman West District of Central Region, Ghana. Ten (10) people were randomly selected from four sampling sites. That gave a total sample size of Forty (40) for the study. The main instruments used for collecting data were structured questionnaire, interviews, observation of site, and community base response survey. Raw data collected had been assembled, analyzed, and the results presented using frequency distribution tables. It was realized, among others that even though, the clay harvesting was lucrative business at Abonko, only land owners enjoyed the booty. The closeness of the clay harvesting sites to river bodies was a major source of pollution to the water bodies. It further came to light from the analysis that 95% of the respondents agreed that the harvested lands were not reclaimed, thereby entrapping domestic animals, and also serving as breeding grounds of mosquitoes. It was recommended among others, there should be establishment of clay harvesting business unit to ensure that the business could lure to the benefit of the whole community, educational programs should be organized for clay harvesters in the area by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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