Ghana Institution of Engineers to partner government in fight against galamsey
The Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) has pledged to work closely with the government and relevant agencies to deal with the menace of illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey”.
The institution said it supported the government’s moves to protect water bodies for both domestic and industrial use, as well as helping the country to achieve the targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a communiqué issued at the end of its annual general meeting in Sunyani, the institute appealed to the government to get the various regulatory bodies, security agencies and the district security apparatus in the affected areas to act decisively on galamsey activities.
The communiqué, which was read by the President of the GhIE, Ing. Mrs Carlien Bou-Chedid, further called on all the stakeholders, public engineering organisations, the private sector, civil society and the citizenry to play their expected roles in ensuring that the natural resources of the country were managed in a manner that would not impact negatively on future generations.
The week-long conference was on the theme: “Ghana’s Natural Resources and Sustainable Development – The Role of the Engineer.”
It brought together 300 participants mainly from the GhIE who worked in government institutions and the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), the private sector, academia and development partners.
There was also representation from federations of African engineering organisations and sister engineering organisations in Nigeria, Sierra-Leone, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The communiqué called for the necessary steps to stop the illegal felling of trees and galamsey which were impacting negatively on the environment. It also emphasised the need for the government, industries and companies to be sensitised and encouraged to prepare corporate carbon footprint management programmes in accordance with the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP).
It suggested to the government to adopt environmental and social safeguards, equity and social inclusiveness principles in water, sanitation and hygiene implementation to ensure sustainability.
The communiqué urged the government to ensure that the needed resources were made available to the road sector agencies and for the maintenance of bridges across the country.
It said excess axle loads were hazardous and put huge economic burden on the transportation sector. It therefore, suggested that fines must be instituted for drivers who exceeded axle loads and they must be commensurate with the cost of repairing the damage caused to the roads.
On the provision of engineering solutions, the communiqué advised that researchers should not only consider the suitability of new materials, but also ensure safety and competitive cost.