Professor Paul Pinnock Bosu, Director General of CSIR, who made the call, said illegal mining activities were not only affecting the country’s forests and water bodies, but every sector of the social lives of the people.
“If you look at the pollution of heavy metals, I don’t think any single segment of society in this country can be isolated from the negative effects of ‘galamsey.’
All sectors, including health, economics, environment and agriculture, are affected and thwarting the efforts of research and innovation and impeding all activities in the country.”
Prof. Bosu said it was worrying, the rapid rate at which illegal mining activities were thwarting the progress and development in Ghana.
He was speaking at the opening of the 33rd annual general meeting and scientific conference of the CSIR-Research Staff Association (RSA) at Kwadaso near Kumasi.
The four-day conference is being held on the theme: “Sustainable Soil and Environmental Resources Management for Food and Nutritional Security.”
Professor Bosu, however, commended the government for taking various steps to halt illegal mining activities, and said it was important for the government to take pragmatic actions to stop the activity once and for all in the country.
The Director-General said the CSIR was always ready to contribute to sanitizing the forests, environment, and soils as well as ensuring increased food productivity and security.
“For us in research, we have developed very simple ways of reclaiming the lands; this is more engineering, forest management, and landscape restoration.
“We have also tested a number of trees that can be grown on these lands if we are to reclaim them so that they will help in taking up some of these heavy metals from the soils.
“We can further develop other crops that will do well in these depleted soils (heavily mined soils)”, Prof. Bosu assured.
On research outputs, the Director-General called on researchers to work hard to meet the needs of the rapidly changing society.
“If we don’t change our delivery and research efforts that rapidly, we might not be able to meet the needs of society”, he told the research scientists.
Dr. Kofi Ampomah-Benefo, National President of RSA, expressed the hope that by the end of the meeting researchers would be motivated to develop scientific innovative solutions to address emerging problems in Ghana.