Ps Dr. Felix Dela Klutse Shares Thought On Galamsey

Illegal mining in Ghana has gained immense attention over the last few years, becoming a national crisis.

This practice of extracting minerals without proper authorization not only damages the environment but also threatens the lives of the miners themselves.

Ghana has one of the richest mineral deposits in the world, and it is unfortunate that a substantial amount of wealth that could benefit the nation is lost through these unregulated activities.

Illegal mining, also known as ‘galamsey’ in the local dialect, is a practice of extracting minerals from a land without proper authorization, licensing, or guidance. The practice is rampant in Ghana, as many individuals and communities engage in it as a means of livelihood, despite its negative impact on the environment and society.

The danger of illegal mining in Ghana is evident in the high number of fatalities recorded annually. In 2019, over 30 persons lost their lives in an illegal mining pit in the town of Kyeremasi, and a similar incident occurred in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality in 2018, leaving 22 dead. These incidents reveal how illegal mining activities can be harmful if not regulated, monitored, and controlled. The mining pits created by illegal miners are often unsecured, unstable, and prone to collapse, trapping and killing miners in the process.

The impact of illegal mining on Ghana’s environment is another significant concern. Mercury, which is commonly used in illegal mining operations, is a toxic substance that is harmful to human health and the environment. The use of mercury in mining pollutes water bodies and soil, affecting aquatic life and degrading farmlands. The deforestation that comes with illegal mining also exacerbates Ghana’s climate change problems.

Apart from the environmental damage, illegal mining contributes to the country’s economic instability, as it deprives the government of needed revenue. Estimates suggest that Ghana loses over 2 billion dollars annually due to illegal mining. The country’s inability to control and regulate the mining sector risks leading to the depletion of natural resources and a slowed economic growth rate.

The way forward for Ghana’s mining sector is to promote formal and responsible mining. The first step is to review the laws and revise them to reflect the current mining landscape. The government should also engage with illegal miners and communities, educate them on the risks and negative impact of galamsey, and provide alternative livelihoods. Sensitization and awareness programs should be launched for the general public, including media campaigns and workshops.

The government should also invest in monitoring equipment and personnel to regulate mining activities, promote safe mining techniques and practices, and enforce the laws and regulations that govern the mining sector.




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