Possible Environmental and Socio-economic Ramifications of Sand and Gravel Winning in Danko, Upper West Region of Ghana
Sand and gravel winning have been going on in the Danko community since the 1990s and recently escalated arguably triggered by urbanization, population pressure, and proliferation of educational institutions. Other causes include increased demand for housing, improved roads, and other development infrastructure. Even though some studies claimed that sand/gravel mining
promotes the socio-economic well-being of stakeholders, others argued that it generates negative environmental and socio-economic impacts on society. These opposing views were tested in the Danko community. In this qualitative dominant mixed-methods study, 15 key informants and 48 survey respondents were consulted to understand the reasons for the proliferation of sand/gravel
winning in Danko and its environs and the associated ramifications. The study found that sand/gravel mining has some benefits, including support of the building and road construction sectors, provision of livelihood opportunities, and creation of dugouts for domestic use. Some adverse impacts of sand/gravel winning activities reported were land/environmental degradation, loss of farmlands and marginalization of women. The study concludes that sand/gravel winning
has both beneficial and harmful impacts with sustainability challenges. Therefore, all stakeholders must work in an environmentally sustainable and safe manner for the industry to continue to benefit all stakeholders along the sand/gravel winning value chain.