The Executive Secretary of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ghana, Engr. Emmanuel W.K. Donkor, has called for the repeal of PNDC Law 285 which bars operations on the Songor Lagoon.


The repeal of the law, Engr. Emmanuel W.K. Donkor said, would allow investors to renew operations for salt production.


Speaking in an interview, he said Ghana was currently sitting on a "gold mine" and that until that law was repealed to pave the way for the establishment of a processing plant for salt in that area, the country would not derive the requisite benefit from salt as a mineral resource.


He said the resumption of salt production would increase employment opportunities for the youth as well as boost the country's economic fortunes and help fulfill the One-District, One Factory agenda.


Engr. Donkor further noted that salt was one of the five chemicals which formed the base of the petro-chemical industry in the world and that salt had many uses including the application in food industries such as canning, packaging, flour processing, meat packaging, dairy and food flavoring.


Salt, he said, was also used for tanning in the leather industry and for de-icing of roads and highways in Europe, America and Asia, among others.


Touching on illegal mining, Engr Donkor noted that galamsey operations had destroyed the country’s water bodies through pollution with chemicals, adding that the rivers finally fed into the sea, causing the fish in both the rivers and the sea lose their breeding grounds and die off.


"The plankton and jellyfish species which tuna fish feeds on have all been destroyed by chemicals from illegal mining, thus rendering tuna fishing in Ghana almost impossible," he emphasized.


The direct result of this, he said, was the difficulty of Ghanaian fisher folks to have a bumper catch and to travel far away into other countries' territorial waters to get fish.


Engr Donkor, therefore, commended the Akufo-Addo administration for the courage and determination to deal with the menace of illegal mining.


He urged government to, as a matter of urgency, reclaim all damaged lands at the mining sites and replant trees to re-establish the vegetation on those lands by cultivating the rehabilitated lands into large farms and employing the illegal miners to work on them.


Government, he said, should, then, encourage the farm workers to form co-operatives of ten members or more in each group, and provide them with seed capital for them to work.


Engineer Donkor also appealed to all Ghanaians to support the fight against galamsey since the consequences affected the livelihood of all— destroying our clean water, reducing food production as arable lands are destroyed and causing a reduction in fish production in the country.


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)