Ghana, which was once referred to as the Gold Coast; is known for her Gold, with it being one of the purest and expensive types in the world.
Unfortunately, with that status comes the issue of illegal mining, popularly known as Galamsey. The situation is so rife that if it is not dealt with, the country could face water and food shortage.
Water bodies which serve as drinking water and the chief sustenace of aquaculture are being destroyed with toxic substances such as mercury.
In additon, fertile lands for growing cash crops like timber, cocoa, coffee and cashews, have been destroyed by excavators.
Though Galamsey is carried out by men and women, there have been instances whereby children, also participate in this menace.
As well as the damage to the environment, illegal mining also leads to injury and deaths of miners. There have been cases of people trapped and buried alive in mining pits, especially during the rainy season.
In an effort to curb the menace, the President, Akuffo-Addo launched, Operation Vanguard. This is made up of policemen, military and the fire service, who are all involved in monitoring both land and waters bodies.
So far, a lot of Ghanaians and foreign nationals have been arrested and some are being prosecuted.
Heavy-duty equipments used during such operations like: excavators, generators, washing boards and chamfi, have been seized and burnt as a way to serve as a deterent.
The hope is that Galamsey is brought to an end, or else, the damage may become irrevisble!
Source : www.ghanatalksradio.com