Managing rivers in Ghanaian small scale mining communities : a case study in Amansie Central District, Ghana : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree: Masters in Environmental Management, Massey University, Turitea, New Zealand

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Water is a natural capital asset that must be preserved and sustained. In Ghana, rivers are critical and important source of water for the Ghanaian economy albeit with very poor and challenging sustainable management practices. This paper presents the findings of a study undertaken to assess mining and water pollution in Amansie Central District, Ghana. The quality of Ghana’s endowed water resources is increasingly threatened as industrial activities including, small scale mining continue to expand. Small scale mining operations releases high quantities of sediments, toxic chemicals, and other contaminants into water bodies that have currently damaged most Ghanaian riverine systems. In particular, this is more alarming with the avalanche number of numerous mining operations that majority of such operations are unauthorized. In addition to sampling respondent’s perceptions on small scale mining; its impacts and regulation in Amansie Central District, the study prescribes interventions that can assist in mitigating the negative impacts of small scale mining on community endowed water resources. Significant environmental performance and improved water quality can be achieved within the small scale mining sector if compulsory laws on protecting and improving water quality are adopted and adequately monitored and enforced and if government involve traditional rulers in mining regulatory frameworks to regulate unauthorized mining and to monitor community environmental performance.