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A longitudinal analysis of diamond mining, environmental change and local livelihood dynamics in Kono District, Sierra Leone

Authors: Sigismond Wilson*, Rogers State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Natural Resources, Africa
Keywords: diamond mining, environmental change, local livelihoods dynamics, Kono District, Sierra Leone .
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Diamond exploitation has the potential to enhance economic growth and development in diamond-rich developing countries. However, evidence suggests that exploitation of diamonds for the most part exacerbates environmental and socioeconomic conditions, especially in mining communities in affected countries. This scenario is evident in sub-Saharan African countries particularly those with alluvial diamond deposits and inadequate management of such a valuable resource. This study explores the major environmental impacts and local livelihood shifts in diamond mining areas of Kono District, Sierra Leone. It seeks to address the following research questions: 1) What are the major environmental impacts of diamond mining? 2) How have environmental conditions (particularly land and water) affected local livelihoods 3) To what extent has diamond mining influenced livelihood transformation in mining communities? The study primarily utilizes household survey data garnered in diamond mining chiefdoms in 2008 and 2019. Logistic regression models were constructed to provide insights into the role of diamond mining on the environment and local livelihood over the 11-year assessment period. The author argues that effective management of mineral resources would mitigate environmental impacts and local livelihoods consequences in affected mining communities.

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