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Stakeholders warn of dire consequences of galamsey on water resources

March 21, 2024
Stakeholders warn of dire consequences of galamsey on water resources

Stakeholders in Ghana's water sector have issued warnings about the severe consequences of (galamsey) on water bodies, including the potential need to import water and the spread of acute diseases if the situation is not addressed urgently.

At a workshop jointly organized by Ghana Water Limited (GWL) and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of (), stakeholders highlighted the alarming rate at which galamsey activities are destroying and polluting major water bodies. The workshop brought together various agencies, including the , Water Resource Commission, and , as well as community leaders, journalists, and researchers.

Dr. Clifford Braimah, the Managing Director of GWL, described the detrimental impact of galamsey on water quality, citing examples of high pollution levels in the Pra River, which have forced the company to reduce its operations by 30%. The situation has led to increased operational costs and acute water shortages in communities like Cape Coast and Elmina.

Mr. Seth Eric Atiapah, the Central Regional Chief Manager of GWL, emphasized the urgent need for enforcement of environmental and mining laws to curb galamsey activities. He warned that continued destruction of water bodies could lead to severe water scarcity in cities like , Cape Coast, and Elmina.

Prof. David Kofi Essumang from the raised concerns about the health implications of water pollution, including kidney problems, and warned of a future where Ghana might need to import water if the situation persists.

However, Prof. Albert Ebo Duncun of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCC advocated for a more community-oriented approach, involving chiefs and local leaders in addressing the issue. He emphasized the importance of empowering communities to take charge of protecting their water resources.

Osagyefo Amanfo Edu VI, Omanhen of the Mankessim Traditional Area, suggested broader public participation in environmental impact assessments to hold all miners accountable for their actions.

Madam Kesewaa Appenteng-Addo, the Central Regional Manager of PURC, reiterated the importance of water conservation and pledged the Commission's commitment to combating illegal mining activities.

The workshop concluded with a call for collaborative efforts among stakeholders to address the root causes of galamsey and protect Ghana's water resources for future generations.

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