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Why farmers now buy ‘pure water’ to mix chemicals for spraying farmlands

Illegal mining, often known as galamsey, is having a negative impact on farming in many areas across the nation, according to the co-principal investigator on the University of York-Galamsey UG’s Research Team.

Prof. Gladys Nyarko Ansah said on Newsfile on JoyNews on Saturday that some farmers in the Eastern Region’s Atiwa West use sachet water to combine pesticides and other agrochemicals before spraying their field.

She said that this was due to the local water bodies no longer being fit for human consumption.

“The public is not pleased with the scenario…

It makes me sad. To mix pesticides, weedicides, agrochemicals, and other items to spray their crops in Atiwa West, farmers must purchase pure water, according to Prof. Ansah.

She also said that farmers have occasionally been pressured into selling their land so that illicit miners can keep operating there.

According to Prof. Ansah, “people’s cocoa fields are left in limbo because galamseyers have excavated all around the property and they can’t even get access to the farm.”

When the galamseyers ask you to sell your land to them for mining and you reject when you are asleep and awake, they will have dug around your farm, leaving you with little choice but to sell it to them for a very low price, she added.

She claimed that as a result, many individuals lose interest in farming.

“In a country where we have a huge number of young people who are unemployed and they can’t even see farming as an alternative, they (may) just jump onto the galamsey bandwagon,” Prof. Ansah continued.

She explained that it is challenging to stop illegal mining operations when young people are all participating, especially in places where it occurs frequently.

On Newsfile, Prof. Ansah discussed “how to win the fight against unlawful mining.” This is after news of En Huang, also known as Aisha Huang, the “galamsey” kingpin, was re-arrested.

She was detained in her Kumasi home for allegedly engaging in the unlicensed sale and purchase of minerals.

Aisha Huang, the infamous “galamsey” poster girl, was arrested, and the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, declared he would charge her with both past and present offences.

He asked for information on the evidence that had been gathered by investigators in 2018 and on alleged current offenses.

The Justice Ministry stated in a social media post: “The Attorney General pursuant to his request, assures that he will begin prosecution against Miss Huang, in respect of her current alleged transgressions as well as those of 2017 before her expulsion from Ghana in 2018.”

However, the re-arrest and return to Ghana startled many Ghanaians and reignited the conversation about the nation’s struggle against “galamsey.”

Professor Ansah contends that the fight against illegal mining must involve the residents of mining areas.

Many of them, according to her, are dissatisfied with the circumstances and, if they were sincerely engaged in the struggle, would support the government.

“The excavators, these are not things that you can take into the forest secretly; residents of the town would notice.

Farmers and hunters who live in the communities have noticed it. What do they do when they notice it? Engage the populace and allow the interaction to be genuine if we truly want to win the battle, said Prof. Ansah.

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