new Round-Car-Sicker

check mail

WRI warns of health risks
• As toxic chemicals pollute water bodies
           By Sebastian Syme, ACCRA
 
 


The Water Research Institute (WRl) has expressed concern over poisoning of the country's water bodies with toxic metals and harmful chemicals by illegal miners. The Director of the WRl, Professor Osmund Duodu Ansah-Asare, who expressed the position of the institute, warned that the practice posed serious health risks to the country. Research conducted by the WRl, one of the 13 research institutions of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), established massive pollution of water bodies with toxic materials such as lead, mercury and cyanide.
 
Toxic substances
Prof. Ansah-Asare indicated that lead found in water could increase blood pressure in adults and could also cross the placenta, resulting in miscarriages, stillbirths and neurological damage.
In a presentation at a meeting with the Media coalition against Galamsey in Accra, the research scientist further added that mercury vapour could be inhaled and that could cause memory and speech losses, numbness, vision problems, convulsion, and in some cases, death. He mentioned the effects of lead poisoning to include anaemia, weakness, constipation, colic, palsy and often paralysis of the wrists and ankles, adding that lead could reduce intelligence in children, impair memory and cause hearing problems.
 
Recommendations
Prof.Ansah-Asare recommended the legalisation of the operations of galamsey and its monitoring to ensure sustainability of environmental resources. He added that illegal miners could also be assisted to use technology to refine gold, teaching them to observe the proper precautions once they were legalised and organised into groups."There should be a comprehensive river basin system, long-term monitoring for effective management of our water bodies; he said, and added that the government had a task to improve water quality and also reduce treatment cost. According to the directors, the efficient management of Ghana's water
resources depended, among other factors, on adequate baseline data and a comprehensive
collection of water quality criteria for all beneficial uses of water.
 
Water pollution
In the Western Region, the Pra, Tano, Bonsa and Ankobra rivers have all turned brown and
sedimented as a result of galamsey activities. The poor water quality of the various river basins portends a potential crisis."Population growth and changes in land use patterns, as well as climatic variability have placed considerable amount of pressure on the water resources, resulting in the dwindling of freshwater resources,"
Prof.Ansah-Asare added.
 
Coalition leader
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, who is the convenor of the coalition, called on Ghanaians to come on board and support the fight against galamsey. He said the coalition would not relent in its effort to achieve its objectives of naming, shaming and pushing for the jailing of persons engaged in the destruction of the environment through illegal mining activities.
 
 
csir-water-health-danger csir-water-health-danger
csir-water-health-danger csir-water-health-danger