Upon All the Golds And The Diamonds; Ghanaians Still Wallow In Abject Poverty
Ghana, as a country has been endowed with natural resources such as gold and diamond yet continues to wallow in abject poverty.
With the abundance of these resources, especially gold, many foreign mining companies troops into the country year after year to acquire concessions to mine in the name of investments.
But instead of helping to improve the lives of the people in the communities where they mine these minerals, they rather worsen the plight of the people as a result of their activities.
There are countless accounts of instances where communities, where mining activities take place, have threatened demonstrations against these mining companies for not thinking about them by neglecting them.
In all such instances, these communities have accused the mining companies of polluting their river bodies which serve as their only source of drinking water without providing them with any alternative.
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Aside from that, some of the indigenes also engage in illegal mining popularly known as ‘Galamsey’ which has resulted in serious degradation of vegetation, lands and pollute major water bodies in recent years and this unwelcomed issue of land and water pollution in Ghana.
‘Galamsey’ does not only contaminate rivers and other water bodies but also leaves death traps for miners themselves and other farmers within the mining communities and their activities have contributed to hunger in the country.
This occurred simply because vast farm plantations are being destroyed and the top soils which are the main sources of nutrients to plant that have taken several years to gain are also being removed and therefore making our arable land infertile.
There is no retort that the operations of Galamsey which has become a national canker have left numerous acres of land across the country, especially in the Eastern, Western, Central, and Ashanti region in mining areas wild and degraded.
The lands are also polluted, making it weak for Agricultural purposes. Chemicals used for extracting gold, for instance, mercury, cyanide, and other complex chemicals are discharged into the soil and these have dispossessed the land of its natural properties to perform its natural functions to mankind.
Medical reports have also shown that people in these communities affected by mining always develop strange medical conditions, as compared to communities where there are no mining activities.
Many premature deaths especially among children in these mining communities have also been recorded as a result of the activities by these companies.
This situation has oftentimes prompted reactions from the public, including traditional authorities, advocating for a proper mechanism to be put in place by the government to ensure that foreign mining companies that operate in the country are bound by some legislation to live to some basic rules so as to protect people the communities where they carry out their activities.
It is in view of this writer wants to remind the government not to deviate it attention from the fight against which was started recently in the country. Simply because the fight against the menace is not a nine-day wonder.
As a country, we should always bear in mind that the war against illegal mining is not something that we have to toy with.
Information reaching this writer indicates that some scrupulous people are still engaging in illegal mining since the authorities have been quiet for some time now.
However, there is a need for the Environmental Protection Agency to live up to its core responsibility to ensure that people in mining communities are protected from all environmental hazards such as pumping of waste that contains poisonous chemicals into their water bodies and also gases dangerous to human health are not emitted into their environment.
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