The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng has revealed government’s intentions to drastically reduce the use of mercury in mining activities in the country as it poses serious health hazards.
As a result, Ghana has signed an agreement with the MINAMATA Convention.
The Convention seeks to ban the use of mercury in artisanal mining to reduce health risks.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Professor Frimpong Boateng also indicated that plans are advanced to wipe out mercury usage and its health implications in Ghana.
“Already, a national action plan has been started to help Ghana deal with mercury poison especially in artisanal gold mining and this national action plan more or less fits into what our President has commissioned a committee to do; a nine member ministerial committee to deal with the challenges associated with illegal and artisanal mining” he said.
The Minister added that “we are here interacting with UNIDO on how they can help us in this regard. A lot of things have been discussed. We need to draw our national action plan, set up certain structures and put in certain measures and articulate our needs so that eventually we can get funding to deal not only with this menace but also look at the health effects.
Meanwhile the General Secretary for the Small Scale Miners’ Association, Godwin Amaang is optimistic the right policies will be instigated as government is engaging the miners’ appropriately.
“The level of engagement is really good concerning the MINAMATA convention because the association is represented at a steering committee, the miners views are also on board so policies that will come out we think it will not be misaligned with the realities on the ground. Because most often you get some policies and because the miners are not part of the whole process, it becomes very difficult to implement. But with this we have been involved from the inception so the level of engagement is really good.”
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana