UMaT develops technology to clean polluted water bodies

The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa in the Western Region has developed a technology to clean water bodies polluted by the activities of illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.

According to Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Vice-Chancellor of UmaT, the environmentally friendly technology would be able to settle particles that polluted the water bodies within a period of about a month.

He said the university was ready to deploy the technology to clear the water bodies if it was granted permission by the Water Resources Commission.

The Vice-Chancellor was speaking here at Tarkwa yesterday, when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor led a delegation to inspect some projects on the school’s campus.

“We have, for months, been waiting for the particles which polluted our water bodies to settle but since that is not happening, we have to force them to settle so the water becomes clean.

For a big river, we will need a boat in releasing some irons into the river which which will crash the particles and force them to settle. And it will take about a month for us to see the results,” he added.

He said the technology had been tested on a small stream at Tarkwa and it proved successful in clearing the polluting particles.

The university, Prof. Amankwah noted, would need government support in upscaling the technology

In addition to the technology, he said UMaT was in the process of rolling out three other programmes and activities to promote sustainable mining.

Amongst them is the ‘Catch them Young’ programme aimed at inculcating skills on small scale mining in young people and the institution of a sustainable small scale awareness day to be marked on June 2 every year, he added.

He said the university’s other programme was the Small Scale Mining school which seeks to engage miners on site and train them on appropriate and sustainable mining modules.

On his part, Mr Jinapor said government was ready to offer UMaT the necessary support in the deployment of the technology to protect the country’s water resources.

He explained that UmaT was key in government’s agenda to promote sustainable mining, adding that “we expect that ideas that enhance sustainable mining are generated from here.”

He reiterated government’s commitment to collaborate with the university in ensuring sustainable mining and the preservation of the country’s water and forest resources.

He asked UMaT to support the newly decentralised approach in enforcing mining laws to curb galamsey.

FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, Tarkwa

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