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Water Resources, Land Use, Livelihood and Environmental Impacts in Africa

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Water Resources Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Africa Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 1:00 PM / 2:25 PM (MDT)
Room: Virtual Track 2
Organizers: Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, Michael Eduful, Joseph Zume
Chairs: Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo


Africa’s natural resources offer crucial opportunities for domestic economic use and provide significant export revenue for many countries. Careful management and use of land, water and natural resources contribute to sustainable livelihoods. Yet, poorly regulated extraction or misuse of natural resources result in land deterioration, environmental degradation and livelihood insecurity. The researchers adopt a political ecology perspective to assess the practices and challenges of access, use, and management of water resources. Drawing on examples of water and land, as well as on-site sanitation facilities in low income neighborhoods, papers in this session use a variety of research methodologies to analyze land use and socio-spatial impacts of natural resource extraction on rural livelihoods, the environment and in marginalized communities across Ghana and in the Agulhas Plain of South Africa, an ecological landscape notable for its global biodiversity. Investigation of water chemistry based on proximity of domestic water wells to pit latrines or septic tanks in Cape Coast reveals levels that are dangerous compared to standards set by international health organizations. Appraisal of the South African government’s transition towards a green economy of lowered greenhouse gas emissions, inequality and poverty exposes vexing problems of intensified socio-environmental vulnerabilities if legacies of economic stratification stemming from social injustices are ignored. The authors discuss strategies for enhancing health and quality of life for Africans while countering drawbacks from large scale, national, or other external actors’ exploitation of Africa’s resources.

Topics discussed include:
• land use
• water resources
• ground water quality
• health impacts
• environmental impacts
• rural and urban livelihoods
• natural resource management


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Michael Eduful*, Towson University, Management of Catchment for the Protection of Source Water in the Densu River Basin, Ghana: Implications for Rural Communities. 15 1:00 PM
Presenter Ellis Adams*, Georgia State University, Land dispossessions and water appropriations: Political ecology of land and water grabs in Ghana 15 1:15 PM
Presenter Joseph Zume*, Shippensburg University, Simon Mariwah, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Ebenezer Kwaku Boateng, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Evaluating impacts of on-site sanitation facilities on shallow groundwater quality in low-income neighborhoods of Cape Coast, Ghana 15 1:30 PM
Presenter Daniel Basubas*, School of Geography, University of Otago, Tony Binns, School of Geography, University of Otago, Etienne Nel, School of Geography, University of Otago, David Bek, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University , Facilitating an inclusive green economy transition: insights from two marginalized communities in South Africa’s Agulhas Plain 15 1:45 PM

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