Factors Influencing Sustainability Of Gold Mining Projects In Rongo Sub County, Migori County.
The purpose of this study was to identify factors influencing sustainability of gold mining projects in Rongo sub county, Migori County. The study intended to establish the influence of technology, economic issues, environmental and social-cultural factors on sustainability of gold mining projects with the aim of assisting local community, through knowledge of these factors to economically exploit the natural resources for sustainability. The basic assumption of the study was that the data collection instrument was valid and reliable in taking the desired measures, the samples drawn were assumed to be representative of the target population in its major characteristics and that the respondents were willing to give information honestly and objectively. The study was based on Sustainable Development theory by Hoolly Johns (1976). This theory holds that sustainable development of any initiative is based on ownership, participation, skills transfer and a cultural change attitude. To secure project access and ensure that invested assets eventually see a return, there is need for community consultation and the delivery of tangible benefits to impacted communities. This study being descriptive, investigative in nature and spread over a wide geographical area, a descriptive survey research design was considered most appropriate. It also employed a probability sampling design to ensure that high objectivity in sample selection is achieved by giving each item in the target population equal chances of being selected and included in the final sample drawn owing to the fact that this study was quantitative in nature. Stratified random sampling technique was therefore used. Quantitative data, which was collected using closed ended questions in the questionnaire, were chronologically arranged with respect to the questionnaire outline to ensure that the correct code was entered for the correct variable. Data cleaning was done and tabulated and analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 21.0) which generated descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequencies. Qualitative data was organized into a checklist which was clustered along the variables of the research study to ease consolidation of information and interpretation and then analyzed through content analysis. In this study one hundred and thirty eight (138) copies of questionnaire were administered to the respondents by the research assistants with close supervision of the researcher and 132 returned duly completed giving a response rate of 94.20%. Revealed in the study was that majority of those who were engaged in gold mining projects in Rongo Sub County were married people predominantly men, with responsibility of providing for their families. It was noted that most of the gold mining respondents indicated that their projects did not have access to adequate resources where human labour formed the greatest resource for key project activities. From the findings of the study, it is significant to formulate regulatory measures to ensure that gold mining is practiced within the required environmental safety, such that pits left are reclaimed to render them productive again. The government of Kenya through the department of Mining should develop policies and proper legal framework to make gold mining projects sustainable, in which appropriate technology is adopted, both for exploration and extraction of gold products. The study also recommends areas for further research.
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