The Effects of Sand Mining on Poverty Status in Malawi: A Case Study of Lilongwe Urban
This study aimed at assessing the effect of income from sand mining on poverty and whether there is income inequality among sand mining households and those that are not involved in sand mining. Using the household poverty model, the findings show that sand mining contributes significantly to household consumption but not significant enough to reduce poverty. The results further show that there is relatively high inequality among sand mining households as compared to the non-mining households due to the owner-worker organisation of the activity. However there is relatively less inequality between sand miners and non-sand miners. This means the two groups experience similar levels of welfare. The study concludes that since sand mining as it is may not really lift the involved households above the poverty line, measures have to be designed that can regulate and improve the activity in order to make it more profitable. Alternatively, the households involved in sand mining should be encouraged to engage in other income generating activities that are more sustainable. This is because though sand mining may derive significant income for households, the long term effects may be detrimental to the environment and the local society.
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