Professor Frimpong Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, at a media briefing on responsible and regulated mining methods made known that the government of Ghana is currently strategizing to place a ban on the import of mercury by the end of the year. Mercury, which is a primary resource used by illegal small scale gold miners, pose a lot of health threat to humans and the ecosystem at large as the substance is widely recognized to be carcinogenic.
The minister highlighted that, “the importation is under the ministry of Trade but inspection at the port is done by the EPA.” He added that discussions between his ministry and the Ministry of Trade are underway.
The Minister is confident that implementing this ban will not take too long and this is because Ghana has signed onto the Minamata protocol – a protocol that bans the use of mercury in the countries signed to it. The fight against illegal mining has reduced the turbidity levels of the water which has translated into lower cost in treating water – something that needs to improve even better to ensure that Ghana doesn’t become a country with issues regarding water insecurity.