A Professor of Environmental Sustainability Science at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Fredrick Ato Armah, has issued a dire warning that Ghanaians will suffer if human activities that harm the environment are not stopped.

He claims that the flooding incidents in Cape Coast, Accra, and other regions within the country are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the environment is responding to illegal mining and the appropriation of forest vegetation cover for private gain.

Prof. Armah stated during his inaugural lecture that what the environment intends to do to mankind has not yet begun; adding that the only way to overcome the problem is to develop a proper relationship with the environment.

The Western Region, Cape Coast, Twifo Hemang, the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem Municipality, and other areas have all recently experienced flooding.

Residents still vividly recall the devastation brought on by the floods, which resulted in the death of one person, some broken bridges, caved-in roads, houses leveled to the ground, an incalculable number of displaced people, and an incalculable number of destroyed properties.

The flood waters have wreaked tremendous havoc in Accra and some areas of the western region, submerging homes and vehicles.

Live in harmony with the environment to avert more floods - Ghanaians told

In his inaugural lecture at UCC, Prof. Ato Armah expressed concern and called for immediate action to address the destruction of the environment.

“Human survival and faith are closely related to the environment, and humans should continue to live in harmony with the environment. Our dependence on the ecosystem that the environment provides is the foundation of our kinship with the environment”, he said.

He explained that everything should be done to restore the dignity of the environment because the ecosystem is what allows humans to navigate their daily activities and provides nutrients, green vegetation, food, fresh water, fuel, and fiber.

Live in harmony with the environment to avert more floods - Ghanaians told

“Illegal small-scale mining has destroyed the sustainable vegetation, fresh water, and vegetation, allowing for floods to occur. If we keep treating the environment the way we do, mankind will continue to experience suffering”, he added.

He believes the issue requires an urgent multi-stakeholder approach to deal with the floods.

“These artisanal miners’ activities produce pits into which people fall and never emerge. The gold is bound with elemental mercury, which is later set on fire and inhaled by the miners. Their health is severely harmed by this, particularly their kidneys. There is also a psychological risk when there are sporadic explosions and noise pollution, causes hearing loss.

“Older people with back pain participate in some of these activities”, he continued.

He added that, “in Ghana, there are several communities that practice illegal mining.

“Research and interviews are conducted on policy makers and traditional leaders to know how resources are used. Foreigners travel there to plunder the land and people take advantage of our laws when they have gaps in them,” he said.