https://www.myjoyonline.com/marvin-agyeman-unearthing-ghanas-environmental-emergency-the-youth-led-path-to-environmental-recovery/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/marvin-agyeman-unearthing-ghanas-environmental-emergency-the-youth-led-path-to-environmental-recovery/

Standing before the breathtaking Kintampo Waterfall, I couldn't help but marvel at its once-pristine beauty. The cascading waters, like a river of thick cocoa tea, had always been a source of pride for Ghanaians.

Yet, today, it was a stark reminder of the toll illegal mining, known locally as "galamsey," had taken on this natural wonder.

The Kintampo Waterfall, once a symbol of Ghana's natural abundance, now bears the scars of greed and environmental neglect. The golden sands of Galamsey had tainted its waters, transforming this majestic spectacle into a symbol of environmental degradation.

As a passionate advocate for preserving Ghana's treasures, I find myself at a critical juncture, ready to share this heartbreaking reality and rally for change so that this cocoa-coloured gem can once again shine in its unspoiled glory.

Recent reports indicate that illegal mining, or 'galamsey,' has led to a staggering 60% increase in water pollution across Ghana's rivers and water bodies, and Kintampo is no exception. This statistic punctuates the urgent need for action. The Kintampo Waterfall, once celebrated for its pristine beauty, now reflects the broader environmental crisis our nation confronts. Activities such as galamsey and other illegal practices like deforestation are significant contributors to this environmental degradation, highlighting the urgent need for youth-led initiatives aimed at environmental recovery for better climatic conditions .

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION;A PROFOUND IMPACT ON CLIMATE :

Illegal mining, locally known as "galamsey" and other illegal practices like deforestation, have cast a long shadow over Ghana, leaving a trail of environmental destruction in its wake. These practices, initially spurred by poverty and unemployment, have grown into a nationwide predicament.

Galamsey operations range from small-scale, artisanal activities to larger, more organized ventures. This illicit industry has flourished due to lax enforcement of mining regulations and its allure of quick profits.

The consequences of galamsey are alarming and far-reaching. Across the nation, our water bodies, once a source of life, now bear the heavy burden of pollution. 

Waterfalls have turned murky, laced with heavy metals and toxins from mining activities. Forests, vital for our ecosystem and biodiversity, have been ruthlessly cleared for mining operations, leaving barren landscapes in their wake.

These environmental crimes, driven by greed and short-term gains, have placed our natural heritage, climate, and the livelihoods of countless communities in jeopardy.

It's estimated that illegal mining contributes to the loss of approximately 2.7 billion Ghanaian cedis (around 470 million US dollars) annually. This revenue could have been used to develop our nation and improve the lives of our citizens.

Instead, it lines the pockets of a few while leaving a trail of destruction for the many. The galamsey predicament demands immediate and resolute action, not only to save our environment but also to safeguard the future of Ghana and its people

The Youth Climate Activists' Perspective:

We recognize that the battle against environmental degradation is not just about saving the planet; it's about securing our own future. We are the guardians of Ghana's natural treasures, determined to unmask the galamsey catastrophe and lead our nation towards a path of environmental recovery.

The Youth Climate Council is a dedicated group of young activists who refuse to let our nation's heritage crumble. We view the galamsey crisis as a wake-up call, a clarion call that the responsibility to protect our environment lies with the youth.

The Youth Climate Council engages in a multifaceted approach to address the crisis, from grassroots education and awareness campaigns to advocating for stricter regulations and sustainable mining practices. Our tireless efforts are testament to the resilience, innovation, and collective action of Ghana's young generation.

According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), youth-led environmental movements are instrumental in mobilizing millions of young people globally to participate in environmental conservation efforts, highlighting the impact of youth engagement in addressing environmental issues.

We understand that our future is intricately linked to the health of the environment, and we are determined to be stewards of change.

Our collective voice and determination underscore the crucial role of young activists, and it is with unwavering resolve that we unmask Ghana's environmental emergency and lead our nation towards recovery.

In the face of Ghana's climate crisis, urgency is paramount. The damage inflicted upon our environment is staggering, necessitating immediate action. Youth activism emerges as a potent force for change, driven by passion and purpose, offering a glimmer of hope in these challenging times.

Championing sustainable alternatives becomes imperative; eco-friendly practices can not only mitigate environmental harm but also foster economic growth. Initiatives like reforestation and responsible mining are already making headway.

As we confront the gravity of this crisis, we must unite behind young leaders and support their call to action. Together, we hold the power to preserve Ghana's natural treasures and ensure a vibrant legacy for generations to come.

*************************

About the author; Marvin Agyeman is a Public Relations student at the University of Professional Studies, Accra.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.


DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



WhatsApp Icon