In as much as many have taken in hand to set the narrative outlining the repercussions associated with Illegal mining thus ‘Galamsey’ , I , having had a nearly perfect understanding on the above mentioned, desire to put into writing a relevant narrative discussing the adverse effects Galamsey activities on the Ghanaian community.
The concept of Illegal mining encapsulates all attempts that seek to recover the mineral ore from the subsurface on to the land by individuals who have not been licensed by the appropriate authority under the auspices of the Minerals Commission.
This article seeks not only to address issues regarding the repercussions associated with Illegal mining but as well, render thorough education on mining activities.
The proof of the existence of substantive enactments as per the constitution on the legislation and regulation of mining procedures serve as attestation to the need for licensing as one wishes to engage in mining.
An attempt as described earlier to engage in mining activities without authorization from the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources renders the act Illegal and subject to prosecution.
It is an undeniable fact that individuals who engage in these illegal mining activities conduct them with low level of technology, inadequate funds and employ the service of unskilled labour.
The reason being that, these illegal miners in their desperate bid to making sums of money by sale of these minerals engage in whatsoever means available in recovering the mineral ore.
The procedures undertaken by these unskilled men viz-a-viz the low level of Technology involved serve as threats to the vegetative cover and existing water bodies within the communities of interest.
Paramount of all, the methods employed in the determination of the mineral ores under the specified communities are of no guarantee of success but rather embody a spree of try and error procedures which in several attempts lead to zero results yet, leaving irreversible disadvantages to these communities.
The activities involve the digging of very deep holes which require that, the vegetative cover are initially removed and these dead ends are continually drilled subsurface.
Removal of the vegetative cover grant agricultural losses to the areas of interest yielding ripple effects in the sector of the National Economy.
In the event of the undiscovered desired minerals, these huge dug pits are left unattended claiming the lives of individuals who mistakenly fall into these pits.
Periods of rainfall which consequently fill up these dug pits convert them to breeding sites for mosquitoes which in turn, increase the rate of malaria in the nearby communities .
The struggle to end Galamsey is one which reduces deforestation, grants salvation to malaria-prone mining communities and consequently an end to the accidents as persons may fall into these pits.
Furthermore, the illegal act require the use of harmful chemicals in the recovery of some minute mineral like Gold. This harmful chemicals like mercury are responsible for the formation of the Gold amalgam as the Gold is mixed with the soil. The mercury is later vaporized as the Gold is recovered.
The usage of this mercury by these unskilled men pose health threats to the immediate engagers.
The vaporized mercury is absorbed by the blood stream and circulated throughout the body affecting greatly, the Central Nervous System and the kidney.
The associated risks being life threatening, serve as enough reason to completely detest involvements in these illegal acts.
The remains of the Mercury used is unsafely disposed in adjoining water bodies accumulating with water sediments and entering the food chain thereby affecting innocent persons who consume food from these water bodies.
The formation of methylmercury makes it possible to enter the human body which consequently affect the brain and kidney as stated earlier.
The health hazards posed by usage of Mercury in the act of Galamsey are alarming and worthy of note.
Furthermore, the active manpower employed in the Galamsey activity captures a considerable range of juveniles of school going age who are robbed of quality time as they trade their education for monies earned via Galamsey.
The need for education for the ordinary Ghanaian on several occasions has been extensively addressed notwithstanding active campaigns organized by ministries and other Nongovernmental Organizations advocating that all children should be educated for the development of the human resource.
This goal is constantly defeated as long as acts of Galamsey are allowed within the Country.
These young individuals in excitement of paltry payments by the constructors continually see the classroom as a waste of precious time and hence should be unvisited.
The county stands the chance of losing the precious future of these young ones to the unsuccessful illegal acts and is assured of a downward intellectual spiral in few years to come.
As these mining activities come to an end, the quest for a continuous cash inflow by the juveniles exposes them to social vices which include robbery and terrorism claiming lives and affecting national security.
With regard to the effects carefully discussed above, the acts of Galamsey are condemnable not only by reason of their inability to meet constitutional demands but as well, the huge risks they place on the health ad lives of indigenes. The disadvantages of the illegal act further injures the safety and future of the nation owing to the methodology employed in carrying out the activities.
It is by reason of these that the act of Galamsey is largely condemned and would do the country great good should the events relating to the activity be brought to an end.
This campaign by involvement of all citizenry would lead to the positive untimely truncation of the lifespan of the illegal act.
( GRADUATE FROM DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE –