How Galamsey is killing our forests and water bodies: Military officer cries for help as galamsey destroys our water bodies

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How Galamsey is killing our forests and water bodies: Military officer cries for help as galamsey destroys our water bodies.

A video showing what the menace of galamsey is currently doing to our environment has gone viral and gotten people questioning government’s fight against illegal mining in Ghana.

“Operation Vanguard” was a Military and Police joint Task Force set up by the President in 2017 to combat the operation of galamsey on taking office.

That operation failed to yield any appreciable results due to complicity from people in high places who were supposed to help in the fight against galamsey.

Galamseyers are illegal miners and have over the years greatly depleted Ghana’s forest cover through their illegal activities.

Their illegal activities has also ended up polluting almost all the major water bodies Ghana can boast of leaving the situation soo dire that something drastic had to be done immediately to stamp out the menace.

The practice of galamsey has now destroyed our water bodies and ultimately our very source of portable drinking water in the southern sector of Ghana.

Three weeks ago, government launched another war on galamsey called “Operation Halt” using the might of the military with the aim of defeating the galamseyers at their own turf once and for all.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 authorised the Ghana Armed Forces to commence an operation to remove all persons and logistics involved in mining from Ghana’s water bodies.

The Minister for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul in a speech captured on News360 lamented about the devastating effects of the galamsey menace ravaging the countryside and that if care is not taken, in about 5 years time from now, there will be no water to feed the treatment plants for drinking.

He warned that the situation was very bad and that Ghana may start importing water if this galamsey menace continues unabated.

It is sad to see how the Chinese and their Ghanaian collaborators are destroying our virgin forests and arable lands for cocoa and cash crop farming in search of gold.

Recent video footage taken from the air by the Ghana Armed Forces says it all… the destruction of our forest reserves and its associated water bodies at the same time is almost getting out of control.

The state of devastation taken from a military helicopter flying above looked like rice fields in Vietnam during the war; you won’t believe this video was taken in magnificent Ghana!

The end result is that these illegal mining activities end up polluting our water bodies which serves as our primary source of portable drinking water for the people. But unfortunately, the destruction of our forests and water bodies are taking place all at once.

Only a few years ago, the issue was with the illegal logging of trees in our forests for timber, but today it is the destruction of the same forests to mine for gold which in turn has a rippling effect on the pollution of our precious God given water bodies.

The military taskforce which was sent in to fight the galamsey menace is doing their best, for almost two weeks now, they have been able to chock some successes.

Also read: Soldiers deployed to crush Galamsey activities along water bodies. 

But even they themselves are complaining about the mandate given them not being adequate enough to deal fully with the situation. They want to go all out to clear these environmental destroyers out of the way, but the politicians don’t seem to have the political will to grant them the power to wage an all out war against galamsey.

Can you imagine the extent to which some of our exotic wild life species are being driven to the brink of extinction from the forest? What about the fishes in the rivers which are being polluted with dangerous chemicals like Mercury and Cynide? How would all this destruction impact on the lives of the poor rural folks out there whose livelihood solely depend on the arable lands and rivers? The issues are grave.

The situation has become really bad and something drastic has to be done about this clear and present danger.

The officer captured in the viral video has called on the powers that be (government) and other mining stakeholders, to review the 100-meters caveat governing mining around river bodies. To him, it should be increased to 2Km.

The military officer lamented that the 100 meter distance won’t work, in fact it isn’t working because the illegal miners are operating far away from the river banks and polluting the water.

The said video which surfaced online on Friday has gone viral and I just hope the officer won’t get himself into trouble with his superiors for speaking the way he did.

The military officer with the rank of Major is heard in the video chastising the Chinese man who had been arrested for operating the water pump at the river bank saying;

“Look, look at our water, you see the problem you’ve caused? You come to our country and destroying our water… the water we will drink. You, can you drink this? So you see, this is our problem. These guys are well established with machines …”

He further went on to explain their modus operandi. The Chinese had installed two heavy pumps at the river bank. One pumps water from the river into the open pit mine about 1Km away in the deep forest; the other pumps the used water for washing off the gold back into the river hence polluting it in the process.

The situation is bad, and from the look of the colour of the water; it was like a huge river flowing with some chocolate drink!

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Citizen Atare is a Ghanaian who hails from the Upper East Region. He is an ICT professional working at the University of Ghana, Legon. Citizen Atare is an amateur freelance writer and blogger for over 20 years, who likes to research into everyday lifestyle issues and situations, politics, and cultural practices to write about to educate and also entertain his readers. He is a highly creative and motivated, highly inquisitive, open minded and to an extent risk-taking with a high visual acumen. He is a dreamer who isn’t afraid to break creative barriers. He is also a passionate aviation, tech and motoring enthusiast with a lot of knowledge to share and a private researcher. He has no formal education or certificate in journalism, but the hunger to know more and do more, backed by an impressive work portfolio is what drives him to write the things he knows best for his numerous online fans. His hobbies include reading, listening to very good music; especially jazz, writing, watching action, sci-fi and adventure movies, travel and site seeing and swiming. He likes eating fufu and palm nut soup, but prefers boiled rice and kontomire stew with agushie more. Contact me at: pnawurah@gmail.com

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