We have for long, overlooked the recklessness of the government agencies combating illegal mining popularly referred to as galamsey, in the country. Yes, their directive has been to either confiscate or destroy mining equipment used in illegal mining operations.
As much as we commend this action, we must be desirous of ensuring that the actions of the anti-galamsey taskforce do not affect the natural habit in the process. Thousands of changfang equipment used in alluvial mining has been set ablaze on waters leaving the debris to decay and further pollute the waters.
Recently in a swoop undertaken by the Municipals Security Council (MUSEC) of the Nzema East Municipality on the Ankobra River, security officers are seen breaking metal barrels used by these illegal miners to build their rafts on which the machines are installed. They were sunk into the river, and any other material on board the rafts were buried in the waters too.
At least, these rafts could have been pulled off to the banks and proper demolishing done so that aquatic life will not be affected. Sadly, in this case, these corrosive metals and containers of hazardous chemicals are buried in the already polluted water.
It is not as though we don’t have laws that protect aquatic and marine life but the actions of the government must be checked if indeed it wants to be recognized as a responsible actor in this fight. Strangely, Civil Society Organisations in the area of biodiversity and environmental protection have been silent on this.
The risk of their silence could be of dire consequences to the aquatic life. Until we realize it would be a tool late to save the ecosystem from these secondary pollutants.
As the fight against illegal mining continues, the government needs to be cautioned about this in-water destruction of this equipment, lest a strong force would soon emerge to sue it. The government must not be mistaken to be employing the best tactic, like the burning of these machines on water bodies and deliberately sinking these corrosive materials into water basins.
Content created and supplied by: Blind_Justice (via Opera News )
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