Effects Of Illegal Mining
| Updated Feb 09, 2017 at 2:00am
COMMENTARY ON THE EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL MINING ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY
The devastating effect of illegal mining is known to all. Initially one may only think that it is the surface soil which is being destroyed but there is more to it like pollution of water bodies. Institutions, charged with the protection of the environment such as the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and Forestry Commission seem to be overwhelmed by the strength and threat of illegal miners. It is therefore alarming to hear reports that cocoa and cashew farms in some parts of the country are allegedly being sold out for illegal mining activities. This situation will obviously affect the production of cocoa, one of Ghana's major economic crops. River bodies are not being spared by illegal miners. For instance, the Tano River which is the main source of water for more than 60 percent of the population of Brong Ahafo region is bearing the brunt of illegal miners. Communities like Dormaa Akwamu, Kenyase, Nkaseim are also under similar threats.
One thing Ghanaians should bear in mind is that the continuous operations of illegal miners in the country will have more destructive effects on the entire nation than an ordinary mind can fathom. One health hazard is the effect of dangerous chemicals used by illegal miners. We should know that the life of one Ghanaian is precious than hundreds of ounces of gold. It must be made clear that galamsey operations come with some moral and social problems. These are open prostitution by girls between 10 and 15, abuse of alcohol, illicit use of marijuana and other hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. Incidence of armed robberies, falling educational standards in the affected communities and blatant disregard to laws, order and customs are exhibited at the highest levels. It should be noted that when galamsey is not checked, land is degraded and food production decreases. The effect of illegal mining on economic crops which gives the nation a sustained means of foreign exchange cannot be quantified. Our Security Agencies, Environmental Agencies, Chiefs, Political Leaders and all well-meaning persons should rise up and stop any attempt to destroy the nation in the name of gold.
BY: ASUMIN GYAMFI, A JOURNALIST.