‘GALAMSEY’, A THREAT TO LIFE

The high level of pollution of water bodies in the country is a real life-threatening situation staring the country in the face regarding the total destruction of the country’s sources of water that are meant for treatment for drinking purposes and other uses.

Needless to say, water bodies in the country have been polluted with chemicals, making the treatment of such water for drinking very difficult.

In fact, the Ghana Water Company has hinted that very soon it will be extremely difficult to treat our water for domestic and industrial use. This has become possible because of the serious level of pollution that goes with the activities of illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

Experts have predicted that 20 years or less from now the country will have to import water for its citizens. We need to act immediately to prevent this undesirable situation from arising.

Those who operate illegal mining argue that there is no source of employment for them and that explains why they have resorted to such an activity.

What these illegal miners do not know is that by destroying water bodies in the country, they render the treatment of such water impossible. If this is the case, then in the very near future no one in this country will have water to depend on.

This is the issue at stake that must be discussed, evaluated and appreciated by all irrespective of whether you depend on illegal mining as a means of livelihood or not.

Realising the danger ahead, the government has decided to mobilise forces against the activities of illegal mining in the country. This is meant to prevent the destruction of the environment, including water bodies which the people of this country need for survival.

It is encouraging to note that various groups of people in the country have given support to the government to deal with this issue.

Those who have given support to this noble fight include environmental experts, Christians and Muslims as well as student groups. It is very encouraging to also note that the media have begun sensitisation of the public to prepare them to understand the implications of environmental destruction such as our forests and water bodies.

It is unfortunate that for political reasons some individuals in the country have argued that we cannot successfully fight illegal mining because the operators of this venture do not have any means of livelihood. This is a serious issue that should not be politicised by any one since the absence of drinking water will mean loss of lives no matter the political colour of the people concerned.

Seen in this way, it does not sound appealing or fruitful to anyone to stand and argue from a political angle. Life is precious and without water precious life cannot go on.

Illegal mining is a threat to life in this country. We can win the fight against illegal mining if we all come together with one accord for that purpose.

It is in the light of this that everyone in the country – teachers, students, politicians, Christians, Muslims, traditional believers, musicians etc – must come together to support the fight against illegal mining.

If an activity is illegal it must not be entertained since it will not serve the national interest. The time to act is now and there should be no turning back!

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