Civic Response Program Officer, Elvis Oppong-Mensah, has disclosed that the quality of a piece of land, once destroyed by chemicals from mining activities, cannot be reclaimed.
Interviewed by host, Samuel Eshun on eTV Ghana’s Fact Sheet programme, he recalled the Environmental Protection Agency mentioning this at a meeting about two years back on how to mine in a forest reserve.
“It was clear. The EPA said that there is no way you can regain a land and get it back to its original status and it’s a fact. It’s not possible. There has been a saying that when you regain a land, you can use it for agricultural purposes but it’s a lie. That is dangerous”, he said.
Elvis advised that once soil is mixed with chemicals like mercury and others, planting foodstuff on it for consumption is dangerous because the chemicals make the food poisonous and this is why we have heard of some countries trying to ban cocoa from being exported from Ghana into their countries.
He noted that these chemicals like mercury are also essential in the processing of the gold, hence there is no way they can decide to quit using them for the safety of the environment. Explaining what the mercury is used for, he stated that when the gold is dug out, the mercury is needed to polish it up so that the raw gold can be separated from the soil”.
Per his knowledge, the mercury now mixing with the soil is what makes the soil poisonous and unfit for crop planting. He concluded that the best thing to use the land for after that is tree planting.
By: Maureen Dedei Quaye