Prevailing Threat of Small Scale Mining.

Prevailing Threat of Small Scale Mining.

Small scale mining has been one of the major woes facing Ghana as a nation. Small scale mining is popularly referred to as “GALAMSEY” and define as illegal forms of mineral exploration that do not have any good mechanism of control. In the year 2007, the activities of sand washing for mineral extraction became a topic of discussion on many media platforms but measures to stop the practice were not implemented.

Ghana’s is rich ecologically with different species of flora and fauna especially Ashanti, Western and Parts of Central region respectively. Illegal mining as a matter of fact has destroyed the natural rich vegetative cover in some parts of the regions mentioned above. The biodiversity riches, species abundance have diminished drastically due to the prevalence of small scale mining “GALAMSEY”.

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In the year 2016 and 2017, the new government declaration to halt all activities of small scale miners and entrench the defiled environmental laws was the order of the years. A special force from the Ghana Armed Forces tasked to arrest people that engage in the activity rampaged most of the hubs of these small scale miners. When hopes started to be counted and the day lights of environmental freedom sparked its rise; the efforts made by the government has not touched the bow eye: the activity is still prevailing.

I write and protest vehemently against all media discussions that communicates the total or partial halt of small scale mining activities. As an eye witness in my research studies, the regions of Prestea and its suburbs, Manso-Nkwanta and its environs, Dunkwa on Offin regions, Wassa Communities, Tarkwa, Bogoso continue to see the predominance of small scale mining activities.

An overview of a GALAMSEY SITE

ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF MANGROVES

ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF MANGROVES

 Mangrove trees are a special flora species and a major contributor to the marine environment especially in conserved areas like Ramsar Site. The mangrove tree is a halophyte, a plant that thrives in salty conditions. It has the ability to grow where no other tree can, thereby making significant contributions that benefit the environment. They are trees which grow in tidal, coastal swamps and have countless tangled roots. Mangrove trees grow between the land and the water. Mangrove trees grow in soil which are really low in oxygen. Mangrove forests only grow at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures.

Globally, there are 110 recognized species of plants classified as mangroves, belonging to 20 different families. In Ghana however, there are three main types of mangroves predominant around our shorelines.  In Ghana, mangrove species are generally delineated based on the moisture of the soil and how well they have adapted to tolerating salt levels. Mangrove trees found in the Ghana are Red Mangroves (Avicennia) Black Mangroves, and White Mangroves.

Mangroves act as a buffer between land and sea. There is a general tendency of the sea to capture the land and global warming has increased this threat. Mangroves act like a barrier between the land and the sea and prevent such assaults on land by the sea. They help mark out the boundaries of lagoons and regulates the flow of air in lagoon water. Due to their proximity to the shore and coastal areas they provide an irreplaceable natural habitat for different species of birds, fishes and mammals. In Ghana, the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site has been the habitat of over 300 species of birds with about 60% being migratory birds. Mangroves protect the water quality and filter the unwanted material. They dissolve nutrients from the soil and the water thereby making their value to birdlife very imperative.

Mangroves Protect Land from Erosion. Coastlines throughout the world are facing coastal soil erosion. They not only help in preventing soil erosion but help in reclaiming the land from the sea.  Mangroves also settle the sediments present on the shore with their tangled root system. Mangroves also provide shoreline protection. Mangroves protect the shorelines from storm damage, hurricane winds and floods. They maintain the water quality and also filter the pollutants. They trap the sediments and prevent them from entering the water.  In conclusion, mangroves are integral part of ecological system hence provide lots of ecosystem service. It is vital that we all contribute to the growth of mangroves by nursing mangroves seedlings and further planting of mangroves along shorelines.

 Kindly read the continuation of this article on “the importance of mangroves to climate regulation”