Effects Of Galamsey In Eastern Region

Investigations by Modernghana indicate that illegal mining popularly reffered to as "galamsey" in some communities in Eastern region has contributed immensely to teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, poor performance of students, divorce among many other social vices which is threatening to the society and the country in general.

Galamsey activities in the Eastern region is not new with communities like Kibi, Asiakwa, Nsutam, Kwabeng, Anyinam, Akwatia, Asamankese Saaman, Osino and many other communities been victims to this activity.

According to sources, three out of five teenage girls are either pregnant or nursing mothers whiles most marriages are also broken due to influx of people into the various communities who later enthise married women with money from their operations.

Some residents of these communities who spoke to the reporter confirmed that, the activity has actually had negative effects on their livelihood but said there is nothing they could do due to lack of local industries to employ the people.

"We know galamsey has affected us negatively but we cannot also sit down to suffer whiles we have money in the soil" some residents lamented.

Meanwhile, some cocoa lands within Atiwa district have been destroyed due to galamsey activities whiles some farmers are willingly giving out their farmlands for mining due to the bulk of money they receive from operators.

The Eastern regional minister, Antwi Boasiako Sekyere during the Cocoa festival held at Akyem Tafo last week expressed worry about the constant destruction of cocoa lands within the region and also appealed to chiefs and traditional rulers to desist from leasing out lands to "galamseyers".

However, records also shows that, communities where illegal mining takes place also lacks the basic social amenities whiles cost of living is also high due to the presence of the galamseyers.

The activity is spreading day by day and one wonders whether it will ever be eradicated from the region as authorities have pledged.

Eventhough some prominent and influencial people have been fingered over the years for being the brain behind such activity, it is yet to be confirmed whether there is truth in it thereby giving foreigners especilly the Chinese the chance to also mine illegally in the country.

Source: MG
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