The Kadjebi District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Daniel Agbesi Latsu, has said illegal mining (galamsey) impacts negatively on the environment and must be stopped.
He said it also posed many risks and dangers to humans, water bodies, forest cover, flora and fauna, hence the practice could not be allowed to continue.
Mr Latsu was addressing a durbar organised in partnership with the “Media Coalition Against Galamsey” to educate the citizenry on the effects of the illegal mining (galamsey) menace and its direct and indirect consequences on the nation at Asato-Wawaso in the Kadjebi District of the Volta Region. Similar programmes have been held at Kete.
Mr Latsu, who spoke on the topic: “Galamsey: A Threat to Human Life, Water Bodies and Environment”, said although the Kadjebi District might not experience the magnitude of destruction as could be seen or witnessed in other areas of the country, the situation in the district could be likened to a volcano which was ready to explode.
Alluvial gold deposits
Mr Latsu said the presence of alluvial gold deposits discovered at Ahamansu-Pillar 83 and other areas along the River Wawa to the Confluence of Wawa and Menu rivers at Asato-Wawaso and some minor finds in certain streams and marshy areas across the Kadjebi District were likely to attract a lot of unemployed youths in the small-scale mining venture in the district.
He said crops, vegetables and fishes which were cultivated close to mining areas had been found to contain some amount of mercury which could be detrimental to human health, especially that of children and pregnant women.
An Assistant Civic Education Officer of the NCCE, Mr Gabriel Kwame Dzanka, called on the citizenry to help kick “galamsey” out of Ghana since the government could not do it alone.
He added that the devastating effects of “galamsey” activity on the environment could not be underrated.
He said soil degradation was one of the leading factors of low food productivity caused by illegal mining activities; noting that posterity would judge those who destroyed the environment.
Mr Dzanka also called on the public to protect and safeguard the environment since it was a civic duty.
The regent of Asato-Wawaso, Mr Cephas Adukpo, thanked the management and staff of the NCCE for the programme and called on the populace to desist from illegal mining because the activity posed a threat to water bodies, agricultural production and biodiversity.
Mr Adukpo said the topsoil and some vegetation were lost during excavation and as such, crop production in such areas became less feasible and even in some cases, impossible.