The pollution of water bodies in the country through the activities of illegal miners is posing a threat to the quality of water in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.
The situation, according to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, had the potential to spark a misunderstanding between the sister countries if care was not taken to stop galamsey.
“I went to Cote d’Ivoire last week only to be welcomed by the unpleasant news about how the effects of galamsey in Ghana have resulted in the pollution of some of their water sources.
“They find it difficult to even treat the water to make it wholesome, and this is bad for us as a country because it paints a bad image about us,” he said.
He was speaking at the launch of an anti-galamsey campaign by the Media Coalition against Galamsey, a network of media organisations, including Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), New Times Corporation and Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), in Accra yesterday.
The initiative is meant to engage government and garner public support to root out galamsey in the country.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng observed that given the devastating effect illegal mining posed to the sustainability of the environment, especially water resources, it was important for pragmatic and holistic steps to be taken at all levels to stop the perpetrators from causing further destruction to the country’s natural resources.
He said the government was prepared to tackle the menace in order to preserve the quality of the environment and also save the country’s image.
The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, said the fight against the galamsey menace required strong political will, stressing that; “The President must be strong, bold and committed to ensure that illegal mining is tackled with the energy it deserves.”
“Ghana cannot stop mining, but it must be done responsibly. The fight against the menace ought to be a national call,” he added.
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong asked all churches within the CCG, as well as other faith-based organisations to stand up and be counted as the country waged the war against illegal miners.
“Galamseyers are part of us because they come to our churches and give offering. Once they are part of us, we must be part of the solution to the problems they are creating,” he said.
He noted that it was a divine call for humanity to protect God’s creation, which included preserving the quality of the environment and water resources.
“It is reported that if care is not taken, Ghana will start importing water in the next 50 years. If this happens, we will not get water to baptise our converts, so we need to create awareness when we mount our pulpits,” he urged.