A town hall meeting was held in Kyebi in the Eastern Region on Tuesday to sensitise the public to the effects of illegal mining on the environment, with a call on the public to embrace the fight against the galamsey menace.
A Deputy Minister of Information, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Agyei, who made the call, said if care was not taken, the environment would be completely destroyed within the next decade, to the extent that there would be no place to build hospitals, construct roads, embark on water supply systems and carry out farming activities.
The town hall meeting was organised by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), to educate the public on galamsey and its destructive effects on the environment.
In view of the looming effect of galamsey on the environment, Nana Asiamah-Agyei said, it was important for all Ghanaians to safeguard the environment for future generations.
“I urge all to rally behind President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fight the menace for a better tomorrow,” she added.
The Convenor of the media coalition, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, said the government had put in place measures to ban the use of mercury in mining activities, while the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and other government agencies were working on the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).
The MMIP is a five-year project designed, in collaboration with key stakeholders, to control the galamsey menace.
The project document was developed by technical experts and advisors, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, other ministries and key implementing agencies, with the Minerals Commission as the lead agency
Mr Ashigbey, who is also the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), said the town hall meeting was organised jointly by the coalition and the NCCE to educate the public on galamsey activities and their effects on the environment.
In his presentation, the Head of the Public Relations Unit of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), Mr Albert Kwesi Quainoo, said about 161,000 voltages from electricity pylons had been exposed and these could endanger human lives due to galamsey operations in the Eastern, Western and Ashanti regions.
He said research conducted by GRIDCo had shown that almost all the transmission towers in those regions where galamsey activities had been carried out were exposed to water bodies.
The situation, he said, had denied GRIDCo accessibility to the electricity poles for maintenance.
The Team Leader of the MMIP, Dr Isaac Karikari, said there was the need for the state and other agencies to help provide alternative sources of livelihood for people engaged in galamsey.
He said the implementation of social interventions, capacity building and communication to the public for awareness creation would cost about $10 million and urged the public to help make the fight against galamsey yield faster results.
Source: Daily Graphic
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