Increasing demand for stone and aggregates has led to extensive uncontrolled stone quarrying operations in some parts of Ghana causing increased environmental degradation and socio-economic conflicts.
Following up on some complaints filed by residents of Ojobi in Gomoa West of the activities of some stone quarry companies in that area, this paper can confirm that the residents of the area are facing a lot of problems and are unable to lead normal lives because of the illegal and unscientific stone quarrying being conducted in the their land.
It has been established that, Pilot Quarry and other quarries which are operating in the area are making it unbearable for residents. After fruitless complaints by the residents, they have risen up against the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing these quarrying companies to continue with their activities even though they are detrimental to their health and social lives.
Pilot Quarry has been given approval by EPA to do the test blasting in the area.
Most of the homes in Ojobi are facing the prospects of total decimation because of illegal quarries, unregulated use of explosives, and transport of stone blocks.
During a tour to the village, it was observed that most houses or buildings have developed cracks as a result of the blast from the quarries.
Speaking to some of the residents they said earlier protests on the matter had failed to make any impact, and that against their complaints, blasts are conducted every evening disturbing their peace.
They also expressed disaffection at the way ad manner the land is being degraded as result of the quarry activities.
They said many people in the village have contracted diseases like tuberculosis, asthma, elephantiasis, and stomach upsets because of the dust and dirt, apart from other health hazards, kicked up by the quarries.
Indeed, worrying issues concerning the impacts of the mining activity on the environment which included impact on buildings, farmlands, crops and water systems have emerged.
Farmlands are usually lost to flood waters which are water pumped from the quarry pits and run- offs.
Although residents alluded to the fact that there could be some benefits associated with quarrying, it is also responsible for several negative environmental and socio-economic impacts, particularly when the quarrying activity is carried out haphazardly and not as per the prescribed norms and regulations.
Source: New Crusading Guide
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