Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) is one of the emerging economic activities
in Uganda and thousands of local communities are involved in the gold rush. The majority
of artisanal miners have abandoned other economic enterprises, such as agriculture, with
the hope of improving their living standards. Given the ecological and socio-economic
challenges that characterise artisanal mining sector, several questions have been raised
regarding its capacity to meet the miners’ economic needs, such as food security.
The author followed an exploratory-descriptive cross-sectional study design using
qualitative and quantitative methods to gain a deeper understanding of how artisanal
and small-scale gold mining influences food security. A total of 384 respondents were
selected from a pool of artisans, minining-rights holders and local leaders. Data was
collected using observation checklists, survey questionnaires and interview guides.
Specific variables of interest were subjected to bivariate analysis, where respondents
were included in the analysis after a log likelihood ratio test. The results showed that
96% of the dependent variables were well displayed by the variables in the model, with
a sensitivity of 93.2% and a specificity of 91.6%.
The findings indicated that the majority of the artisanal and small-scale miners (71%)
who had changed from other livelihood enterprises such as agriculture, had less food
security and lower incomes to support their economic needs. To improve food security
and income in mining communities, government and other sector players should prioritise
strategies, such as formalisation, legalisation and awareness.