A professor at the Department of Pathology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. Paul Poku Sampane Ossei, has disclosed that a study conducted indicates children who consume crops or drinks from galamsey-polluted environments absorb a dangerous 90% of heavy metals, significantly higher than the 15% assimilated by adults.
Speaking to Citi News during a stakeholders’ workshop in Tarkwa on Artisanal and Small Scale Mining and the Impact of Chemicals in artisanal gold recovery, Prof. Paul Poku Sampane Ossei urged an end to the use of mercury in artisanal small-scale mining, emphasizing its harmful impact on the brain and cognitive function.
“We have to try as much as possible to reduce or even end the use of these heavy metals because if the bio-accumulation gets into our body, it causes problems for us. They cause problems for us if they get into the air or the food chain. For instance, cassava or any other food that we eat, where they have these heavy metals, can cause problems. Especially children who assimilate as much as 90% of these heavy metals that they ingest into their system. Unlike adults who absorb only about 15% of what they ingest, but in Children, that is where the problem is because it can affect their brain or cognitive function,” he warned.
Apart from the threat to children’s cognitive function due to heavy metal pollution from small-scale mining, Prof. Ossei, who also heads the Forensic Unit of KNUST and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, highlighted other diseases resulting from such calamity-induced pollutants.
“Kidney diseases are one, and then we have also tuberculosis due to the dust that comes with it. Again, lung and liver diseases as well as brain diseases are all part of the effects of heavy metals from chemicals that are being used to extract gold,” he added.
The Chief Executive of Commodity Monitor, Stephen Yeaboah, who facilitated the workshop for the small-scale miners, advocated for the adoption of mercury-free gold processing technology like the Kacha as a better option.
“The Gold Kacha technology presents a unique opportunity for small-scale miners to change the way they work. For a very long time, they have been producing less gold, and even worse, polluting the environment as well as intoxicating themselves. So this machine with a Crasher and a Miller and what we term the gold Kacha is here to help. One good thing is that this machine works faster, recovers more gold, and doesn’t allow the use of mercury. So they have a mercury-free way of recovering more gold in a better way. This is critical because we are all at risk from the pollution of water bodies and destruction of the forest; therefore, this is the best way we can work to ensure that we can produce gold without destroying the environment,” he advised.
Meanwhile, the PRO for Small Scale Miners in Tarkwa Centre, Napoleon Tandoh, while welcoming the mercury-free gold processor, said miners need funding support to switch from the mercury pollution methods of gold processing.
On his part, MCE for Tarkwa Nsuaem, Benjamin Kesse, praised Commodity Monitor for its effort to build the capacity of small-scale miners to improve their recovery but more importantly operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
Let’s live harmoniously to safeguard Ghana’s peace – Peace Council on recent clashes
The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on Ghanaians to live harmoniously with each other to safeguard the country’s peace.
It has urged Ghanaians to protect “the peace and security of the country by creating and using avenues of tolerance, cooperation, and coexistence to sustain the country’s identity as an oasis of peace in Africa.”
This follows the unfortunate violent clashes in some parts of the country which have resulted in the deaths of some citizens.
Reports from Kintampo in the Bono East Region, Nkwanta in the Oti Region, and Wenchiki in the Northeast Region indicate that violence has led to the destruction of lives and property in these affected communities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NPC reminded Ghanaians “of paragraphs (c), (d) and (i) of
article 41 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states thus: The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen.”
“To foster national unity and live in harmony with others; to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons. To co-operate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.”
Read the full statement from the NPC here
Defence and National Security Ministers to appear before parliament today over Kintampo clash
The Ministers of Defence and National Security are expected to appear before the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament on Thursday, November 23, to provide a briefing on actions being taken by the government to forestall a clash between the Mo and Wangara tribes in the Kintampo North municipality.
This comes on the back of a summons by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
According to the Member of Parliament for the area, Joseph Kwame Kumah, tensions were high when the Mo tribe requested to perform rituals within the months of November and December, coinciding with the annual Klubi festival of the Wangara community.
In response to calls for a ceasefire by the MP, the Speaker directed that the government must take immediate steps to ensure peaceful coexistence.
“As the first authorities to come to this house to brief the committee on Defense and Interior, this is an urgent matter that should be handled with dispatch. I think Thursday should be okay for the two ministers and their commanders to appear before the committee early tomorrow morning by 9 am to brief the committee. It is an urgent matter.”
“The National Security Council through their regional office should immediately intervene because the chieftaincy institution is one of the cornerstones of the peace and security of our country, and we hold that institution dearly. We will do everything to prevent that institution from falling into disarray,” he stated.
Watch how Quick Credit staff violently raided restaurant over ‘unpaid loan’
Some staff of a popular loan company, Quick Credit Ghana, stormed a local restaurant to recover a loan sum.
Videos available to GhanaWeb and shared on social media showed over half a dozen male workers in violent exchanges with the staff at the restaurant said to be located at Laterbiokoshie, a suburb of Accra.
According to a person videoing the encounter, the staff had forced their way into the facility, packed up the furniture and succeeded in locking up the place before leaving.
The video, shot in the evening, however, did not show any affected customers nor did it show any casualties.
The company has yet to issue an official statement on the development. GhanaWeb is also trying to reach out to the affected businesses.
Watch the video below:
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