General News of Fri, 19 May 20178
Uncovered galamsey pits plunge Amansie West into malaria endemic area
Abandoned illegal mining pits with stagnant water in the Amansie West District of Ashanti Region have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
No attempt has been made to reclaim the land at sites exploited by miners, three weeks after the expiration of government’s ultimatum to suspend operations.
There are fears of a potential rise in malaria infection in the District due to a large number of uncovered pits left by miners.
Though statistics are readily unavailable, local officials report increasing number of patients seeking treatment for the disease at health facilities.
The devastating effects of illegal mining on the environment are very pronounced in the District.
Besides the danger deep and wide pits pose directly to human lives, mosquitoes and malaria have become the lot of the people.
District Planning Officer, Ali Sulemana, says appropriate government agencies will have to intervene to avert an epidemic.
“The content of acid in our water bodies may cause diseases if we continue to consume them. We are looking at the Environmental Protection Agency and other institutions to come and help us”, he said.
Meanwhile, international NGO, Millennium Promise Alliance, and other partners are set to establish a research centre in the district to address local challenges.
Country Director for Millennium Promise Ghana, Chief Nataniel Ebo Nsarko is positive about the potential of the centre to serve the people.
“We want students to research into the water and sanitation issues, reclamation and how to make farming a viable business again”, he said.