It is instilled in the constitution of Ghana, the state owner of natural resources including minerals underground and it provides the license for companies to mine. For over a decade, there is being a failure to curb illegal mining which has destroyed lives, land forest reserves, and residential settlements and caused the death of residents in these mining communities.
Many Communities, Livelihood, and Environments has being destroyed by these illegal activities. During the illegal mining, they dig deep holes in the earth using explosives and excavators, destroy forest reserves and wash the gold dust with mercury in nearby water bodies. These water bodies are polluted and this serves as the only drinking water in these communities. Hundreds of lives has being lost to mercury poisoning
An intergovernmental solution is needed to curb this destruction of nature. The political will of the government, the influence of traditional and religious leaders, and law enforcers are needed to build a consensus on protecting the rights of nature. In 2020, during the pandemic and all attention was on Covid, my NGO called Social Gospel Movement embarked on a campaign to draw awareness to acknowledge our dependence on nature and the importance of living in harmony with nature.
At Social Gospel Ministry (SGM), we recognize species and ecosystems not as a resource for human depletion to humans but as allies in our ecosystem
In 2020 February, SGM pushed for legislation for the Ghanaian Government to enact rights for the river bodies in Ghana, which have been destroyed by operators of illegal mining popularly known as GALEMSEY. These illegal miners use chemicals that are poisonous to water bodies, which serve as drinking water for some local communities. There have been serious implications for these activities.
Subsequently, communities like Amenfi-East, Tarkwa Nsuaem, and Prestea Huni-Valley District have established bills of rights that establish the right to local self-government, the right to a healthy environment, the right to clean water, and protection for the local environment. This proves that nature is a property.SGM has been educating the other school of thought who don’t believe in the Rights of Nature Approach and over the years and we have been vindicated, as water bodies have been cleared since the termination of illegal mining and water-related diseases like cholera, malaria and its prevalence has been drastically reduced.