Monitoring Water Quality in River Bodies of Mining Communities in Ghana
The Ghanaian mining industry has contributed greatly towards the socio-economic development of the country but its negative impacts, particularly on natural resources, raise a question about the net effect of mining on mining communities in Ghana. One major natural resource which is negatively affected by mining is water. The quantity and quality of water available in mining communities in Ghana is declining rapidly as mining activities increase. This is caused by the direct use of water from rivers by miners and also the discharge of mining waste into rivers from mines. This is depriving many communities of their source of clean drinking water. This study sought to investigate the effectiveness of government efforts to ensure the quality of water in these areas is maintained by using the MERI (monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement) approach as a framework. It was ascertained that attempts are made to address the monitoring, evaluation and reporting aspects but little improvement occurs. A number of solutions are recommended. These include establishing more stringent water quality monitoring programs, investigating waste disposal from production sites of mines and introducing progressive rehabilitation as opposed to post-mining rehabilitation. Additionally, adequately resourcing regulatory bodies and stricter sanctions for offenders is essential.