Stakeholders call for research into food products from mining communities

A group of residents in the Ahafo Region has raised concerns about food quality from mining communities and the need for adequate research to determine the level of food contamination from minining activities in such communities.

The group emphasized the importance of conducting thorough checks on food items from such communities due to the contamination of water bodies and soil with chemicals from mining activities.

They believe it poses a significant health risk to residents in mining areas and the general population.

They expressed the concern at a Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL) stakeholder engagement on policy brief, which was to address gaps and human rights violations in Ghana’s mining sector.

The participants thought regulatory agencies must implement stricter measures to address this pressing health issue.

The stakeholder engagement was organised by the Centre for Public Interest Law, a non-government organisation, Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining, OXFAM, is a British-f
ounded confederation of some non-government organisation, to review the existing mining policy.

It was also to identify and bridge gaps in the policy through the policy brief which would enable policymakers to develop effective strategies to protect the country’s natural resources.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA,) Mr Adusa Yakubu, a participant from Kenyasi, emphasized the importance of regulatory institutions in monitoring the mining companies to prevent environmental pollution.

He expressed concern about the presence of contaminated food and fishes from the mining communities in the local markets, posing serious threat to human health.

Mr Yakubu emphasized the importance of prioritizing the health of citizens in the country’s quest for development saying the impact of consuming contaminated food extended beyond mining communities to the entire nation putting everyone at risk of consuming those foodstuffs and fishes sold at the market.

Dr Samuel Obiri, Executive Director of the Centre f
or Environmental Impact Analysis also in a separate interview observed that most mining communities in the country were farming communities and their activities contaminate the soil, leading to soil pollution and food contamination for consumers.

To mitigate the effects of the activities, Dr. Obiri stressed the significance of strengthening mining communities to reduce pollution levels to the barest minimum.

He recommended that the Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies should conduct random sampling of food crops in the mining communities to monitor contamination levels, saying studies have shown that crops were absorbing these contaminants from the environment.

Dr. Obiri also expressed concern about water bodies being contaminated by heavy metals, with the sea serving as a repository for these pollutants adding that fishes living in such waters also absorb chemicals consumed by man.

Source: Ghana News Agency