Water Pollution Laws And Regulations In Ghana Pdf
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Material adapted from: Hudson, T. L, Fox, F.
Journal of Health and Pollution 1 March ; 8 17 : 43— Mining has played an important role in the development of Ghana. Like all industries, mining has both benefits and risks for the people living in communities where minerals are found. How these environmental and health impacts are managed by the government, nearby communities and mining companies can either worsen or improve the lives of community inhabitants. The current analysis focuses on the environmental and health impacts of mining in Ghana and blends extant data from the literature as well as the co-authors' recent findings on the causes, status, trends, and consequences of mining in Ghana.
The work reviews data on environmental and health impacts of mining such as pollution of water bodies, degradation of forest resources, depletion of soil nutrients, destruction of wildlife habitat, and reduction in quality and threats to human health. Competing Interests. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Mineral wealth is an important asset that can be used to stimulate or enhance economic growth and spur infrastructure development, including the building of schools, hospitals and road networks.
It was formerly called the Gold Coast due to large deposits of gold in the southern areas of Obuasi, Tarkwa and Preistea. Known as Ghana following independence in , the extraction of gold and other resources continues and contributes enormously to economic development.
The purpose of this report is to review the environmental and human health issues that arise from mining in Ghana. The ultimate goal of this report is to identify responses and policy options associated with mining in Ghana leading to improved environmental quality and human health. The review was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, articles were retrieved via online Scopus database searching. The following keywords and combinations of keywords were used: Ghana, mining, community, health, environment and impact.
Articles were limited to those that were published in English-language journals. During the second stage, titles and abstracts of articles were independently reviewed to assess eligibility for inclusion.
If there was any uncertainty, the full text article was retrieved. Primary publications on mining-related health and environmental effect studies in the population living in mining areas were the subject of this review. The search was able to source 58 publications from different authors prior to the end of December, All currently available evidence from Ghana was reviewed and considered peer-reviewed and non-reviewed; published and non-published.
The majority of the evidence reviewed in this report was obtained from studies undertaken in Ghana. The search identified eleven mining sites in Ghana that were used in the review; ten from southern Ghana and one from the three northern regions in the Talensi District in the Upper East region.
However, the types of communities and ecosystems in which mines are situated in Ghana vary widely. The environmental impacts considered for the present review were air pollution, noise pollution, water and soil contamination, the degradation of agriculture resources and the loss of agricultural land and vegetation. The majority of the environmental and health risks associated with mining are wide-reaching across all mining sites. There is evidence of gold extraction activities in Ghana as far back as the 7th and 8th centuries A.
As time went on, it was revealed that deposits of iron, limestone, kaolinite and other clay minerals exist in some quantities. Small-scale mining is carried out at an individual level, mostly by the poor with very little technical know-how or machinery. It is estimated that over 10 million people worldwide are directly engaged in small-scale mining activities, with another 80 to million people directly or indirectly dependent on the production from these activities for their own survival.
Small-scale mining is viewed with different perspectives by different groups of people and countries. The International Labour Organisation defines small-scale mining as less intense and operated with basic or low-level machinery. Large-scale mining, also known as legal mining, generates more than 95 percent of the world's total mineral production and employs approximately 2.
However, some of the operational standards and procedures have adverse impacts on the environment and rivers surrounding the mines. Mining companies take advantage of their legal status to the detriment of the environment. Mining operations typically involve three stages: mining, processing and mineral conveyance, and water is used in all of these stages.
Surplus mine water can either be treated for reuse or discharged back into nearby sources. Counting all mining operations in Africa and Asia, there may be as many as six million artisanal miners world-wide. Increased investments in the mining sector resulting from Ghana's economic reforms have several benefits.
Mining is the principal earner of foreign exchange in the country, providing a large amount of government revenue, a source of income and social infrastructure to the population, creating direct and indirect employment and contributing to community development in mining areas. According to Ahern and Stephens, mining remains one of the most hazardous occupations in the world, both in terms of short-term injury and loss of life, but also due to long-term impacts such as cancers and respiratory conditions, including silicosis, asbestosis and pneumoconiosis.
About 13 bodies were recovered by the rescue operation that was hampered by gushing water from the Ofin River. Nine bodies were retrieved from the pit. The Ghanaian Times reported an increase in cases of kidney diseases, and according to Dr. Amoako Atta head of the renal unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital , the use of mercury by illegal miners is a contributory factor. In addition, chemicals in the river can be harmful to the skin and the entire human body.
Mercury affects the renal system, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system. A study in five selected communities Sanso, Anyinam, Anyinamadokrom, Abombe and Tutuka, in the Obuasi Municipality on mining activities near AngloGold Ashanti's operations and their health impact found that residents suffer from malaria, skin diseases, diarrhea, fever, colds and catarrh.
The highest occurrence of colds or cough was at Anyinam Skin diseases were reported principally by workers and residents from Anyimadokrom At Sanso, respondents noted that the prevalence of skin diseases was largely due to contamination of water bodies with chemicals which some residents are dependent on for water, food and other domestic purposes.
The high occurrence of skin diseases at Anyimadokrom is due to its proximity to AngloGold Ashanti's Pompola treatment plant where chemicals such as arsenic sulfur dioxide are used. In Ghana, the endemic nature of Buruli ulcer in communities adjacent to mining activities suggests that proximity to artisanal and small-scale gold mining ASGM is a risk factor for this disease, as is the case of the higher prevalence of Buruli ulcer in the Amansie West District.
A study conducted by Amposah-Tawia and Dartey-Baah found that most mining towns in Ghana harbor a number of commercial sex workers, some of whom travel to these towns in search of jobs, the lack of which compels them to turn to prostitution as a last resort. One possible explanation for this increased incidence is the high concentration of mining companies in the area.
The use of illicit drugs marijuana and cocaine as stimulants to enable workers to work longer and harder is also prevalent, particularly amongst AGSM miners in Ghana. Hundreds of miners have died in Ghana as a direct consequence of poor safety conditions and uncontrolled digging of land at illegal mining operations. The environment and natural resources are crucial to the people of Ghana, as livelihoods in Ghanaian communities involve constant and direct interaction with the environment.
The environmental impacts and natural resources considered in this study for assessing the impacts of mining activities in Ghana include land, agriculture, water, air and noise pollution, as these greatly influence the quality of life of people in Ghana.
Mining affects fresh water through the heavy use of water in processing ore, and through water pollution from discharged mining waste and seepage from tailings and waste rock impoundments. Increasingly, human activities such as mining threaten water sources. Mining by its nature consumes, diverts and can seriously pollute water resources.
We reviewed eleven studies from Ghana that clearly demonstrate pollution of water bodies and impacts on the environment and human health. There is also strong evidence of mercury and arsenic contamination in biotic and abiotic samples in proximity to mining sites in Ghana. Studies have shown that water resources in the Obuasi Municipality have been greatly compromised. Most streams, rivers and other water bodies are either polluted with chemicals or dried up.
There have also been complaints about the maintenance and quality of water that is pumped from these boreholes. At Sanso and Abompe for instance, the residents complained of poor quality water pumped from the borehole and alleged that the water may have been contaminated by underground chemicals. Small-scale miners usually operate along the banks of rivers, destroying river banks and making them liable to overflow after heavy rains. This situation has been the source of recent flooding in mining communities.
The natural courses of most rivers and streams are diverted and in some situations blocked to make way for mining operations. While stream diversions in areas of formal large-scale mining take into account environmental considerations, the extent of these considerations is questionable. According to stakeholders in Tarkwa, the natural course of the river has been highly diverted due to mining activities around the river.
Some of the inhabitants around the river claimed that in the years before illegal mining activities along the river, farmers used to drink the river water directly without treatment, due to the clear color of the water.
In addition, increasing impurity implies increased turbidity, causing a drop in river water pH levels. A drop in pH controls results in many aquatic reactions such as the dissolution of metal oxides as indicated by Boachie-Yiadom. Unfortunately, water from the Pra, Ankobra, Birim Rivers and other water bodies which communities along these stretches of the river depend upon are extremely polluted and local communities can no longer rely on them. Pollution is sometimes so severe that large amounts of chemicals are needed to treat the water, which may then affect the quality of water supplied to the public and water companies may then have no other option than to shut down operations.
One study found that the level of turbidity in water samples from drinking water sources in Datuku in the Talensi-Nabdam District ranged from 1 nitrite-nitrogen turbidity in the Accra borehole to nitrite-nitrogen turbidity midstream.
The average level of turbidity at all of the sampling points exceeded the maximum admissible limits for drinking water quality set by the World Health Organization WHO in Turbidity in ground water could be caused by inorganic particulate matter from the weathering of rocks.
This is due to the presence of dissolved minerals in the water from nearby mining activities. The responses from participants revealed that small-scale mining causes serious harm to water resources in the municipality.
Poisonous chemicals such as mercury and cyanide used by the miners pose a serious threat to humans, fish, and other aquatic species. Andre and Gavin argued that gold mining in Ghana helps the general economy at the national level, but at the local level, individual communities are faced with numerous social and environmental problems, including the destruction of farmland.
Interviews with respondents at five communities in the Obuasi Municipality found that one major effect of surface mining is land degradation. First, removal of top soils, trees and vegetation with heavy machines divests the land of its nutrients and renders the land infertile and unproductive for agricultural purposes. For instance, at Sanso, there were areas where the presence of rocks and other debris from mining activities had hindered plant growth and made it impossible for farming activities to take place.
Field observations confirmed this issue, as pits were seen at Anyinam and Binsere with depths ranging from 50—75 m. Even where such pits were backfilled, they were either covered with rocks which renders the land infertile or converted into tailings dams where waste and other toxic materials are dumped.
Opoku-Ware reported that mining activities by the Newmont Company, especially excavations in Kenyasi, have affected the surrounding land. Most farmers that were interviewed had lost their farm lands to mining. Mining by the Newmont Company is limited to only a few areas, although those areas have been excavated and large pits dug for mining.
Three key pits have been excavated by Newmont and heaps of sand from the pits cover large areas of land that cannot be used for any other purpose. Land degradation is very severe in some parts of Kenyasi, and illegal miners are indiscriminately mining gold. Land degradation is very serious and prevalent in illegal mining sites in Kenyasi compared to the concession sites owned by the Newmont Company.
However, local residents often revert to illegal mining to supplement income for lost land due to this concessionary model. Almost 31, square kilometers of Ghana's land area
Journal of Health and Pollution 1 March ; 8 17 : 43— Mining has played an important role in the development of Ghana. Like all industries, mining has both benefits and risks for the people living in communities where minerals are found. How these environmental and health impacts are managed by the government, nearby communities and mining companies can either worsen or improve the lives of community inhabitants. The current analysis focuses on the environmental and health impacts of mining in Ghana and blends extant data from the literature as well as the co-authors' recent findings on the causes, status, trends, and consequences of mining in Ghana. The work reviews data on environmental and health impacts of mining such as pollution of water bodies, degradation of forest resources, depletion of soil nutrients, destruction of wildlife habitat, and reduction in quality and threats to human health.
Freshwater resources are continually decreasing in quality and quantity. The study reviewed literature on water resources with focus on freshwater, the quality of our freshwater in terms of physical, chemical and biological variables, the main mechanisms of management, and the challenges associated with these mechanisms as well as blending integrated water management with the indigenous or traditional management of water resources for sustainable development and peaceful co-existence. Also the review offered potent recommendations for policy makers to consider sustainable management of freshwater resources. A total of 95 articles were downloaded from Google scholar in water-related issues. The search took place from June to September , and research articles from to were reviewed. Basically Ghana is made up of three discharge or outlet systems, namely the Coastal River Systems which is the least and Volta constituting the largest and with the South-Western been the intermediate.
Environmental law describes a network of regulations and customary laws that address the effects of human activity on the natural environment. These laws are also referred to as environmental and natural resource law and center on the idea of environmental pollution. In addition to this issue, environmental law works to manage specific natural resources and environmental impact assessment. There are a few key areas that environmental law works to regulate in order to lessen the impact on the environment. Some of these areas include:.
Bangladesh — one of the most densely populated countries of the world— has plentiful water sources, but these sources are being polluted continuously. Both surface water and groundwater sources are contaminated with different contaminants like toxic trace metals, coliforms as well as other organic and inorganic pollutants. As most of the population uses these water sources, especially groundwater sources which contain an elevated amount of arsenic throughout the country; health risk regarding consuming water is very high. Death due to water-borne diseases is widespread in Bangladesh, particularly among children. Anthropogenic sources such as untreated industrial effluents, improper disposal of domestic waste, agricultural runoffs are the main contributors regarding water pollution. A total water pollution status of this country, as well as the sources of this severe condition, is crucial to evaluate public health risk.
ICLG - Mining Laws and Regulations - Ghana covers common issues in mining laws and regulations — including the acquisition of rights, ownership requirements and restrictions, processing, transfer and encumbrance, environmental aspects, native title and land rights — in 15 jurisdictions. They express the basic position that minerals in their natural state are owned by the State. They also outline the licensing scheme for mineral operations, the incidence of the various mineral rights and the powers of the principal regulatory institutions. The following pieces of subordinate legislation add detail in specific areas to the regime set out in the principal legislation: a Minerals and Mining General Regulations, L. The sector Minister, currently the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, and the Minerals Commission are the Government bodies with primary responsibility for administering the mining industry. Environmental legislation, including that relating to forest protection, water bodies and water use, tax legislation, customary law relating to land tenure, the law of corporations, contract law and administrative law principles concerning the exercise of governmental power, are all relevant to the mining industry. The Minerals and Mining Amendment Act, Act introduced amendments to the Minerals and Mining Act, Act , including that which seeks to prevent foreigners from providing mining support services to small-scale miners and imposes stiff punishment for the sale or purchase of minerals without a licence and for the facilitation of small-scale mining by foreigners.
The drinking water supply and sanitation sector in Ghana faces a number of challenges, including very limited access to sanitation , intermittent supply , high water losses and low water pressure. Since , the sector has been gradually reformed through the creation of an autonomous regulatory agency , introduction of private sector participation , decentralization of the rural supply to districts and increased community participation in the management of rural water systems. An international company has managed all urban water systems since under a 5-year management contract which expired after achieving only some of its objectives. The water supply and sanitation infrastructure is insufficient, especially in rural areas and concerning sanitation. There are substantial discrepancies between access data from various sources, partially because of different definitions being used by different institutions that are providing access data.
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