Non Governmental Organizations and Donor Agencies in the country have been urged to put pressure on illegal mining operations (galamsey) to curb their activities.
When affected communities collaborate with these advocacy groups, it could bring moral pressure to bear on members of their communities, who are damaging the environment by engaging in galamsey.
Mr. Daniel Kwamena Ewur, Community Liaison Officer of ‘A ROCHA Ghana’, told the the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on Mining and the environment, at Akim Oda in the Birim Central Municipality of the Eastern Region.
A ROCHA Ghana is an international NGO located in 19 countries worldwide with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. It has four offices in the country located in Accra, Kumasi, Damango and Kibi.
Mr. Kwamena Ewur told the GNA that his outfit implements an environmental management system focused on continual improvement, to review, prevent, mitigate or ameliorate adverse environmental impacts.
He said ‘galamsey’ operators continue to show gross disregard and ignorance for the environment, which “our whole lives depends on”.
According to the Liaison Officer, the forest ecosystem formed part of the life support system, which when destroyed, greatly affects human existence.
Mr. Ewur stressed that, air, water, rains, food, carbon sink and wind break, among others, termed forest ecosystem, were being destroyed by illegal mining operators by damaging water bodies, illegal chainsaw operators by felling trees and hunters by burning the bush.
He pointed out that the major stakeholders including communities, miners, regulators (Minerals Commission, EPA), local and central government, civil society organisations and non-governmental organizations, have not done enough to help arrest the situation.
He called for stringent measures and massive clampdown on the galamsey operators and their prosecution, adding that, the security agencies must regularly swoop on the galamsey pits to apprehend the perpetrators.