A senior research Scientist and Head of the Groundwater Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Water Research Institute (CSIR-WRI), Dr Anthony Appiah Duah, has joined the push for a ban on all illegal mining and related activities in the country.
According to him, small-scale illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey,’ posed serious threats to human life, animals and the environment.
Dr Duah was speaking at a Symposium on the Impact of Galamsey on the theme “The Galamsey Menace: What Legacy are we leaving?” on Wednesday in Accra.
He noted that, strict measures should be enforced to deal with illegal mining and miners as its negative impact was dire.
“Currently, galamsey is threatening the cocoa industry, tourist sites, agriculture fields and education which are all the very fabric of the nation,” he said.
Dr Duah stated that although there were many water bodies in the country, they were not useable for potable purpose due to galamsey activities.
“The country is facing water stress but fast deteriorating into water scarcity since many more water bodies are being destroyed,” he said.
He, therefore, encouraged all key stakeholders including Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and Chiefs, to have interest in protecting the environment as well as take action and support the fight against galamsey.
The President of the International Association for Impact-Ghana, Mr Dyson Jumpah, underscored the need to provide organised, practical, step by step, integrated, and intersectoral approach to uproot the problem and define a pathway for a sustainable solution.
He added that the estimated 200,000 illegal miners that included foreigners should be found and arrested for the “devastation and ravaging of major water bodies, forests, farmlands and livelihoods,” in the country.
He explained that the spillover effects on the water utility services and the Ghanaian economy also posed severe transboundary risks.
On her part, the co-convener for Media Coalition AgainstGalamsey, Ms Carol Annang, called for action to sustain the fight against galamsey.
She explained that Ghanaians had always been described as peace-loving which was untrue because “we are wicked people. We don’t love ourselves and country because if we did, we wouldn’t just be angry, we would wear red bands on daily basis. We would be questioning our chiefs, members of parliament and government.”
Ms Annang appealed to all Ghanaians to reflect on the dangers associated with engaging in illegal mining and actively join the fight whilst doing away with the notion that “galamsey was not in Accra.”
The co-convener explained that such notion was responsible for the rapid destruction of Ghana’s water bodies.
The symposium was attended by stakeholders such as the Executive Director, Green Advocacy, Ghana, Mr Yaw Amoyaw-Osei; Former Director of Minerals Commission and Private Legal Practitioner, Mr Richard Kofi Afenu; representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency; and Chief Directors from Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Energy.
BY ANITA ANKRAH and JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIERead Full Story