The Government of Ghana has disclosed it will ban the importation of mercury to augment efforts to curb the impact of illegal mining activities in the country.
The move is expected to take effect by the end of 2017.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng who announced this said the ban will restrict mercury use which has led to the contamination of most water resources.
“Importation is under the Ministry of Trade but inspection at the ports is done by the EPA, but we do not want to say we are not going to allow mercury to come into the country when we have not discussed all the issues with the Ministry of Trade,” Prof. Boateng said.
Commenting on the progress of work on this, Prof. Frimpong Boateng who is the Chairman of the inter-ministerial committee on mines, added, “We have started discussions already and I do not things are going to take too long and things have become a little bit easier because Ghana has signed onto the Minamata protocol. This is a protocol that bans the use of mercury in the countries that have signed unto the agreement.”
The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has bemoaned the huge investments it has had to commit to the purification of the polluted water resources.
However with the intensified fight against the illegal mining, the GWCL has indicated that the turbidity levels of the water have reduced making them to spend less amounts of money in treating the polluted water.
The sector Minister is however confident the enforcement of the ban should help save the country huge sums of money.
“It is not going to be a long term thing but rather in the short term and I think it should be before the end of the year.”
He spoke at a media briefing ahead of a training workshop for small scale miners and journalists on proper mining methods.
The training which spans from July to August, seeks to train about 1000 individuals.
A budget of five hundred thousand cedis has since been earmarked for the training.
Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed