The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, has pledged the government’s support to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) towards scaling up a technology developed by the institution to purify water bodies polluted through illegal mining activities.
He said the discovery of that technology was a major boost to the government’s quest to restore the health of water bodies affected by illegal mining, commonly called galamsey.
The Deputy Minister-designate of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George Mireku Duker, gave that assurance on behalf of the sector minister when he hosted the UMaT team at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in Accra yesterday.
“The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has declared his unwavering support to the UMaT researchers and has called for an all-hands-on-deck approach so that we can implement the technology, and this gives all of us hope that we will win the battle,” he stressed.
The UMaT team was led by Vice-Chancellor of the state university, Prof. Richard Amankwah.
The team made a presentation on the new technology and demonstrated how it was capable of cleaning polluted water bodies, with an assurance that the efficacy of the technology was unquestionable.
The technology, which has already been tried in a river at Tarkwa and deemed to work perfectly, would need regulatory approval from the Water Resource Commission to be scaled up to other polluted rivers.
Mr. Duker said the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry would ensure that the new technology was subjected to approval by regulatory bodies as soon as possible so that it could be implemented to clean polluted rivers such as the Pra, Offin and Birim.
The Deputy Minister nominee said the sector minister had, in collaboration with other state agencies, advanced processes to deploy river guards to ensure that water bodies did not get polluted after the water had been purified.
He said the decentralization of the galamsey fight meant that metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives must support the initiative to clean up water bodies.
In the presentation, Prof. Amankwah explained that since the colloidal particles in the water bodies could not settle at the bottom of the river on their own, the technology would ensure that environmentally friendly irons were introduced to neutralize their charges to force them to settle.
He assured members of the public that the chemicals used for the purification of the water were not harmful to human and aquatic life.
“We have experts in the team of researchers, so the right things are followed in this technology. If a multi-element test is run on the water after purification, none of the elements would be found to have adverse effects on human, fish or grass life,” he assured.
Prof. Amankwah said the technology was relatively not expensive and could help to regain the purity of huge volumes of water.