Source: Ben LARYEA
Religious Leaders in the country have called for an urgent ban on all forms of small-scale mining activities across the country to protect the rapid degradation of lands and the massive pollution of water bodies which have created negative impact on the environment.
They have however challenged government to come up with comprehensive framework and a working guidelines as well as a blueprint to monitor and regulate mining activities to bring to bear sanity and transparency in the mining space.
Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso in an interview with the media
The religious groups comprise of the Christian Council of Ghana, the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Office of the National Chief Imam, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches, Council for Independent Churches among others.
At a news conference in Accra, the leaders have expressed deep concerns of the wanton destruction and devastation of illegal mining (galamsey) which have painted a gloomy picture in the mining sector in the country and have urged Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to work fervently towards the mining laws in the country and explained that the laws must be properly and duly applied in line with the laid down rules and regulations.
According to them, their voice must be heard from the clergy perspective on the destruction of the country’s land and the pollution of water bodies due to the galamsey menace and have therefore challenged the MMDCEs to work as assiduously and demonstrate the mandate empowered to them to monitor the illegal mining in their respective jurisdictions.
Turning the spotlight on the health implication on the citizenry, the leaders said health reports have revealed that people particularly women have suffered a rise in cervical and uterus cancers as men are diagnosed with kidney diseases and other related water polluted diseases as a result of the pollution of water bodies through mercury, chlorine and cyanide.
“According to them, the soil pollution have greatly affected the country’s crops at the local and international levels challenging countries around the world to vigorously test our cash crops before accepting the crops”, they pointed out, adding that the gesture casts a slur on agricultural produce.
They therefore called on government to crack the whip on traditional leaders found culpable in engaging in galamsey and applied the needed punitive measures to deter others from the illegal mining activities.
Speakers at the briefing includes the Archbishop of Tamale and President of the GCBC, Most Rev. Philip Naameh, Sheikh Aremyaw Shaibu representing the Chief Imam, National President of the Full Gospel Business Men’s’ Fellowship, Emmanuel Baba Mahama, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, Former General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Ghana, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Most Rev. Dr. Paul Boafo among others.