An investigative documentary by the BBC has revealed that Ghana is likely to be constrained into importing water from other countries by 2030 because of the ongoing destruction of its water bodies by illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey.’
A teaser of the documentary, filmed by journalist, Salley Lansah, reports that 60 percent of all of Ghana’s water bodies have been destroyed through illegal mining.
It uses aerial view of deep forest water courses which have turned milky with dirt to knock home the point while the testimony of a local cocoa farmer of Kwabena, in the Ashanti Region, Kwabena, provides experiential backing to the desperate nature of the situation.
According to Kwabena who spoke Twi, “We used to have 99 water bodies in this town which use to come from the forest. Because of illegal mining, not even one is in good shape.”
The cocoa farmer also lamented the environmental impact of illegal mining has not been limited to water bodies alone, but also, the climate as rainfall patterns have changed drastically.
In response to the government’s response to the illegal mining menace with the burning of seized equipment, Kwabena expressed disappointment that the efforts are half-hearted and therefore half-effective.
“If you seize equipment and burn them without restoring the destroyed environment, then to me, you haven’t done anything,” he says.
Meanwhile, some illegal miners who were interviewed (anonymously) agreed that the impact of illegal mining on the environment was not good but said they were left with no choice but to engage in the activity because there are no jobs in the country.