The Head of Communications at the Ghana Water Company Ltd (GWCL), Mr Stanley Martey has warned that Ghana could be importing water by the year 2025, if the destruction of the country’s water bodies through galamsey activities does not stop.
“If that happens, the cost of water could become ten times more than what we have presently,” Mr. Martey said at the public premiere of “Galamsey – the other side” a documentary by award-winning documentary maker Edem Srem.
He reiterated the need for a halt to the menace of illegal mining and said the Ghana Water Company Ltd (GWCL) is currently spending a lot more chemicals than it should in water treatment, due to galamsey.
On the prospect of desalination, he told ghanabusinessnews.com that the desalination plant at Teshie is “struggling to stand properly on its feet” due to the high cost involved, making the case for the country’s inland water resources which can be treated more affordably, to be preserved.
Mr. Martey was however left bewildered by an opposing argument from Mr Kwaku Treveh, a known advocate of small scale miners, who placed the blame solely on statutory regulatory authorities.
According to him, illegal miners are human and only trying to make a living, and should not be blamed if in place of coercive regulation from authorities, miners are left and trusted to act responsibly by themselves.
“Galamsey is like tax. Who wants to pay? If the government does not collect it, will you go and pay?,” he asked
Mr Treveh also argued that there is no incentive for the poor and unemployed to pass themselves through the established channels for obtaining a mining license – where they may be required to pay some dollars – given the little returns from their mining activities and the fact that they’re trying to survive.
Mr. Martey maintained that such arguments cannot be upheld given that the environment and the nation’s water resources are being destroyed rapidly at the expense of people’s selfish interests.
“I don’t get this type of argument where somebody says that if I don’t litter the streets, Zoomlion will not get work to do. How can you say that?” Mr Martey asked rhetorically.
By Emmanuel Odonkor
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