By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has called on the public to avoid environmental pollution, particularly noise and air pollution during the Christmas festivities.
‘‘We must use fire crackers carefully and responsibly. Let us turn the volume of our sound system to reasonable levels so that we do not disturb our neighbours.
‘‘We must not compromise the environment in any way this festive season as we welcome the New Year. We look forward to working together with you all to promote sound and sustainable environment,’’ he said.
He urged churches, mosques, compact disc sellers and street preachers to manage their sounds levels to reasonable limit so that they do not disturb the peace of others.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng gave this caution at a media briefing in Accra, on Friday, ahead of the Christmas festivities.
He entreated Ghanaians to avoid excessive generation of waste and urged those who would use the beaches for various activities to avoid disposing plastic waste into the ocean to safeguard the marine life.
He said: ‘‘Beach-goers should not swim under the influence of alcohol. Let us endeavour to keep the beaches clean as we invade the territory of fishes and other aquatic creatures. They need clean unpolluted water to survive’’.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng, who is also the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce against Illegal Mining, commended the media and the Media Coalition against Illegal Mining for the crucial roles they played this year in combating the menace of illegal small-scale mining, also known as ‘‘galamsey’’.
He said the fight against illegal mining this year had been very successful in view of the stringent measures outlined by Government.
He mentioned the moratorium on all operations of small-scale mining and deployment of Operation Vanguard to enforce the ban in the Western, Eastern and Ashanti regions, as well as the arrest and ongoing prosecution of some illegal miners as some of the successes chalked so far.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said government would enter the next phase of the fight against illegal mining by regularising the activities of artisanal small-scale miners, examine the mining communities affected by mercury pollution and take further steps to remedy the environmental pollution and degradation of the vegetation.
He said government would undertake baseline studies on mining communities affected by illegal mining, which would inform government’s decisions.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said government was not against mining but wanted mining to be conducted in a sustainable manner so that they did not pollute water bodies, air and degrade the forest cover.
‘‘We don’t want to degrade the land when you mine, you supposed to reclaim the land, so illegal activities must stop because you cannot dredge mines in water bodies, you can’t divert the affluence into the river, you can’t use heavy metals and dangerous chemicals such as mercury and cyanide in the extraction of gold,’’ he said.
He said government would make sure that miners reclaim the mined areas and ensure sustainable mining that would benefit all Ghanaians.