A midwife at Sewum Health Centre in the Western North Region of Ghana has said heavy chemicals used in illegal mining in parts of the country are contaminating water bodies and causing babies to be born with major facial defects.
Gifty Adwoa Adjanor reportedly disclosed that the health centre has for some time now been recording cases of newborn babies without nose, eyes, ears and mouth.
According to a story published on Monday, May 10, 2021, by Accra-based Starr FM, the midwife disclosed during a Mothers Day event in the Aowin District that the activities of illegal miners pollute rivers that serve as the main sources of drinking water.
â€œThe Midwife is thus appealing to traditional leaders and other residents in the area to support the renewed fight against galamsey to enable pregnant women to give birth to healthy children,â€ the report published on May 10 stated.
Illegal mining, known popularly as galamsey, continues to pose a major threat to the quality of water resources in Ghana.
In some instances, the pollution is so heavy that some water treatment plants have been closed down, forcing residents in these areas to rely on the polluted river for their daily activities.
A study published in the Journal of Chemistry by Albert Ebo Duncan reveals that in one investigation, six heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, copper, mercury, iron, and Zinc had polluted a river in the Amansie Central District â€“ a galamsey-ravaged area â€“ in the Ashanti Region.
Studies reveal that women who drink water contaminated with Mercury during pregnancy can bear children who have neurological issues because of Mercuryâ€™s toxic effects on the nervous system during embryonic development.
After a generally unsuccessful first attempt to clampdown on galamsey, President Nana Akufo-Addo last week reiterated his commitment to bringing an end to illegal small-scale mining.
The President told CNN that his government has re-introduced measures to fight the menace, which is significantly affecting the countryâ€™s water bodies and environment.