General News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
An environmental scientist, Mr. Kwame Owusu says individuals engaged in ‘galamsey’ will soon die due to the use of chemicals in extracting gold.
He told Rainbow Radio that the sector poses serious dangers to human health and the environment.
He explained, dust and fumes from drilling and blasting of ore present health threats to miners due to poor ventilation.
It is known that underground mining in Ghana is characterized by unsafe acts and conditions including stope collapse, improper choice of working tools, and absence of personal protective equipment among others.
He said the use of some of the chemicals could take close to 200 years before they can be less dangerous.
He was however quick to add that if the proper mechanisms are put in place, the years will be reduce but if do not do these things, it will take years and take our lives as well.
Government is expected to use 100 million dollars to reclaim lands destroyed by activities of illegal miners in the country, through the Multi-sectorial Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).
The five-year project is an initiative of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), aimed at combating ‘galamsey’ and also sanitizing the artisanal small scale mining in the country.
Components of MMIP included; the reclamation and dredging of affected rivers, a review of legal framework with regards to the issuing of license, and provision of alternative livelihoods for people engaged in ‘galamsey’ among others, he said.