Former IMCIM Chairman Expresses Concerns Over State of Ghana’s Rivers

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, former chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating condition of most rivers in Ghana. Speaking at JoyNews’ national dialogue on illegal mining, he highlighted the severe pollution of river bodies due to illegal mining activities, rendering many waterways impassable for canoes and rendering speed boats ineffective in polluted waters.

The former Environment Minister emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that the contaminated water has become unusable for essential purposes such as drinking, washing, irrigation, bathing, and cooking. He underscored that the pollution has taken a toll on aquatic life, with fish and other creatures succumbing to poisoning or dying.

“In Ghana, we have rivers, but there is no use,” lamented Prof Frimpong-Boateng, emphasizing that the once-vibrant rivers now serve no meaningful purpose.

He further highlighted the broader impact of illegal mining, citing the loss of biodiversity, edibles, and habitats. Prof Frimpong-Boateng emphasized the danger posed to humans and animals, noting that the rush to extract gold has led to deforestation, adversely affecting air quality and eliminating sources of herbal medicines. Additionally, he pointed out the negative impact on agriculture, as farmers find it less lucrative to continue farming in areas affected by illegal mining.

The former IMCIM chairman’s remarks underscore the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address the environmental devastation caused by illegal mining activities in Ghana.

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