International Association for Impact Ghana (IAIA) is calling on government to embark on a rapid environmental audit and a Strategic environmental Assessment appraisal to determine mining areas for reclamation, cleanup and those available for further small scale mining operations in the country.
According to the president for IAIA, Yaw Amoyaw-Osei, this is one of the short-term measures that can help resolve illegal mining practices in the country.
He made this call at a media encounter with IAIA -Ghana on galamsey.
In Ghana, illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey,’ has become a major source of livelihood for persons living around legal mining communities, mainly due to the continuous rise in the price of the commodity on the world market.
The increasing number of people involved in illegal mining across the country is alarming and the trail of environmental destruction left behind by this practice has assumed a position of national concern.
The environmental deterioration caused by mining occurs mainly as a result of inappropriate and wasteful working practices.
At the event which aims at fighting Galamsey, Prof.Osmund Duodu Ansa Asare stated that "the quality of our water bodies are declining at a rate that if nothing is done by water resource commission, Environmental protection Agency, minerals commission and all stakeholders in the water sector, we will queue everywhere in the country for drinking water in the near future and probably import drinking water".
This comes after he revealed that the status of the quality of our river basin systems indicates as well as establishes the fact that we are in a crisis as far as our water resources are concerned.
He added that the continues use of rivers for illegal mining have toxic trace metals which include Lead and mercury which causes brain damage, anaemia, weakness palsy, increase blood pressure and many other infections.
The association urged government to fasten the process of legalising “galamsey” so that activities can be monitored to ensure the sustainability of the country's environmental resources.
Managing Director of daily Graphic, Ken Ashigbey, urged professionals, especially media personnel, to report political leaders and chiefs involved in illegal mining with evidence for them to be prosecuted.
“If you know any minister or chief involved mining somewhere please let us know because that is the only way we can tackle these things, enforcement has to happen, all we need is evidence and we are asking for it and we will definitely protect your identity “ he stated.
The council for scientific and industrial research (CSIR) pleaded with the government for funding for the association to use its technologies to mitigate some of these negative environmental effects of mining on a basin-to-basin basis.
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