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Small Scale Miners Reclaimed Over 20 Acres Degraded Lands.

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The devastating effects of mining in parts of Ghana continue to bring untold hardships and other forms of deprivation to people in whose immediate surroundings these activities take place, as well as the country as a whole.

In some instances, irreparable damage is caused to land as dangerous chemicals like mercury and cyanide, which are mainly used in processing gold and other minerals, find their way into the soil and water bodies.

 

 

The deadly effects of these chemicals on human lives are scary in the medium to long term.

With this, small scale miners at Kotokuom in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti region have started reclamation of degraded lands in the area.

 

 

 

About 20 acres of degraded lands have been restored to their original state by the miners and it’s the first time such acres of lands have been fully restored after mining.

This is part of the government’s measures to cover abandoned pits and address environmental challenges emanating from illegal mining operations.

The program, which started a month ago, after the reclamation have planted  trees, foodstuffs and other projects for community members when completed.

 

 

Speaking to the former Director of Research and Development for the Ghana Association Of Small Scale Miners and CEO of Nayak Mining, Mr. Mike Gizo, told the media that the exercise is listed in the EPA laws that after mining, the company is mandated to reclaim the land to its full fertility.

 

 

 

He said, “After mining, the company is obliged to reclaim so that the land will get its fertility back as enshrined in the EPA laws.

“We always use the proper methodologies in mining, so we don’t leave a pit uncovered after mining.”

Mr. Gizo added that illegal miners, who are effectively their competitors, are making the work very difficult for them because they don’t follow the correct mining practices.

He stated that illegal mining operations in the area have heavily degraded extensive areas of land and their cost to environmental damages amounts to millions of cedis.

He suggested that the government should enforce proper mining methods for these illegal miners if they cannot be uprooted entirely.

He said, “These dredgers will come to the land you have reclaimed and will use inappropriate methods to mine it again, leaving the land uncovered.

“This is causing a lot of problems for us, and I plead with the government that if they can’t uproot them, at least they should enforce them to do the right thing.”

He finally assured the general public that the land, after reclamation, does not have any health implications for aquatic life once foodstuffs are grown on it.

He urged people to dispel the mindset that mining land cannot be used for anything.

He emphasized, “Lands that are reclaimed can be used for farming, as you have seen with some farmers planting maize, cassavas, and coconut trees.

“Food from these lands doesn’t have any health risks for humans or any other animals because of the mercury-free practices we use, so people should do away with that thought.”

Indeed, a visit to the site shows that farmers have started growing foodstuffs on the reclaimed land, and the crops are thriving.

We urge every mining company to adopt the practices of Nayak Mining to restore our lands after mining.

 

 

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Source:  MyGhanaMedia.com / Nana Yaw Owusu-Ashanti Region.

 

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