SHEATHE: Xenobiotic substances and heavy metals in the environment – a threat to health, ecosystems and development in Ghana
The Ghana Science Association held its 30th Biennial conference in Koforidua on the theme “The Galamsey Menance: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development.
The president of the Ghana Science Association, Dr. Mrs. Esther Gyedu Akoto, explained that the objective of the conference was for stakeholders to exchange ideas to arrive at practical solutions for the sustainable management of small scale mining.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour, explained during the Plenary session how galamsey operations had caused destruction to farmlands and pollution to waterbodies resulting in hardship to residents in the Region and pleaded that the Ghana Science Association will come up with scientific strategies to help with the purification of the waterbodies.
The Minister of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Frimpong Boateng stated that the ministry is fighting all illegality which are committed by both small scale and large-scale miners because there are some large-scale mining companies who are not doing what is expected of them. He reemphasized that it is illegal to mine along the river banks, divert the course of any river, mine in forest reserves, degrade the land, and it is equally illegal for foreigners to engage in small scale mining. He affirmed that the ministry was going to fight all these illegalities.
Two PhD Students on the Sheathe project presented on mining related issues in Ghana during the scientific session under physical, general and environmental sciences. Mr. Opoku Gyamfi presented on the topic “Concentration of heavy metals in the top-soils of Gbani – an artisanal mining community in Northern Ghana: a preliminary study”. He explained that Arsenic, Cadmium and Zinc were major soil pollutant in the area, therefore exposing the inhabitant to the effects of these heavy metals.
Miss Lily Lisa Yevugah made a presentation on the topic, “Assessing the spread of mining activities in Ashanti using google earth engine”. She indicated the spatial extent of the increase of mining activities and settlement and that of reduced vegetation with the use of Landsat Satellite imageries from 1996 to 2006 and from 2006 to 2016.
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