The Impact Of Mining On The Riverine Ecosystem Of Ghana-An SEA Perspective
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the mining sector is underway in Ghana. One component of the SEA is the study of the cumulative impact of mining on the riverine ecosystem of Ghana. Twenty-two sampling stations have been established within three river basins, which host the heavily mined districts of the country. A further two stations were selected from a ‘mine-free’ basin to serve as control. Physico-chemical characteristics including trace metal pollutants like mercury, arsenic as well as cyanide in different environmental compartments of the river systems are being analysed using ICP-MS. In addition to water and sediment sampling, seventeen of the sites are being used to assess aquatic biota, especially the fish and macroinvertebrates employing such methods as Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE), coefficient of Condition (K) and Gonadosomatic Index (GSI). Fish are an important source of protein in the diet of the rural population of Ghana. These assessments will form the basis for the formulation of policies and actions to assist in conserving the biological diversity of the rivers and streams of Ghana.