Analysis of the impact of gold mining on site neighboring vegetation in Katsyoha-Kitomi Central Forest Reserve.
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Gold mining has increasingly become a great threat on the integrity of tropical forest ecosystems, and due to increasing gold demand majorly for personal consumption like jewelry especially in China, India and other areas. This has increased the needs to explore more areas for gold mining, with forest ecosystems inclusive. Due to the ongoing efforts to exploit and mine the gold resources in KKCFR with its associated impacts, is the basis as to why this study was based on finding out the extent to which gold mining activities have influenced the forest vegetation in and around mining sites. The study was conducted on all gold mining sites in Katsyoha-Kitomi Central Forest Reserve, and through observation and size measurements of all the existing active gold mining sites. On each of the identified sites, systematic sampling was done through establishing of 20m-by-20m plots which were 10m apart from each other beginning from the immediate site edge to assess anthropogenic, physical and chemical impacts of gold mining on vegetation. The result of this study indicated that, there are five gold mining sites of Rutondo mines, Buhindagi mines, Kitaka mines, Kanywambogo mines and Rukukuza Mines in which Kanywambogo site is the largest and Rutondo the smallest. The ANOVA results indicated a significant p- value of 0.001 in anthropogenic and physical impacts as well as 0.033 with chemical impacts which are all less than the alpha value of 0.05 hence there is significant difference in the extent of impact on the neighboring vegetation due to gold mining. Finally, the study demonstrates that the goldmining impacts decrease with increase in distance as shown by high gold mining impact indicators of anthropogenic, physical and chemical near the mining site which further reduce in areas away the from the site.