Some residents of Samreboi in the Western Region are shocked to learn the devastating health effects of illegal mining.
This was after the first public community viewing of the JoyNews documentary ‘Poisoned for Gold’, produced by Erastus Asare Donkor.
In a town surrounded by degraded forests and a heavily polluted Tano River, residents have bemoaned the adverse effects of the menace on their lives.
In an interview with JoyNews, some residents said: “It is painful to learn that it is possible that after nine months pregnancy journey, contamination from ‘galamsey’ can cause my child to be deformed. It is sad.”
“To give birth to a child with one leg and a lot of complications I am sad,” another resident lamented.
Some residents blamed the chiefs and government’s lack of political will in fighting the canker.
“Government should take bigger blame for the menace. We’ve all seen the damage caused by Akonta mining in this town. Who is Akonta mining? Is he not from the NPP government? If he doesn’t have the power, can he do what he has done in this town?” a resident quizzed.
They are demanding more from chiefs and community leaders in enforcing laws and leading advocacy to stop illegal mining.
Also, some opinion leaders present at the viewing of the documentary called for the arrest of chiefs who permit their lands to be used for ‘galamsey’.
Dr. Yusif Tijani, a medical doctor at Samratek Hospital, emphasized the need for a serious and comprehensive approach to addressing illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) nationwide.
“Leaving the land contaminated to the effect that it affects unborn children, I think that we must be very sensitive to fight the ‘galamsey’ menace together,’” he said.
The “Poison for Gold” Community Tour is part of the USAGM media project on Nature Crimes in Ghana, supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Office of Conservation and Water.
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