A senior lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Dr. Adwoa Yirenkyi Fianko is proposing the use of local materials in the treatment of polluted water due to illegal mining (galamsey) activities.
She says moringa seeds, coconut and corn husks have proven to be effective materials in dealing with galamsey-induced water contamination.
This came to light during Citi TV’s roundtable discussion on Galamsey, held on Thursday, November 3, 2022.
Dr. Fianko’s proposal was based on research findings from her doctoral thesis titled, “Impact of artisanal and small scale mining on water bodies and treatment; a case study of Birim River Basin in Ghana”.
Sharing her thoughts on how to deal with the menace, she said, coconut and corn husks are able to remove 100 percent of lead from polluted water whilst moringa seeds clear about 99 percent of iron particles.
Coconut husk and corn husk again remove about 97 and 88 percent of iron from polluted water, respectively.
Same materials are able to remove about 70 percent of arsenic from the water, “which is generally good”, she said.
Dr. Adwoa Yirenkyi Fianko further disclosed that, Moringa also serves as a coagulant, which has proven to be almost effective as an alum in the treatment of water.
“So these are some of the findings we came back with. With the moringa seeds, what you have to do is wash, dry and crush them and add them to the water and make sure that, there is some contact time. With the research, we used about 30 minutes contact time by just shaking it for about three minutes and allowing it to sit for a while”, the lecturer explained.
The Citi Galamsey Dialogue dubbed “Galamsey and Ghana’s Water Security” brought together important stakeholders in the water sector to deliberate on the state of Ghana’s water resources and examine the effects of illegal mining on Ghana’s water security.
The upsurge in activities of illegal miners poses threats on many levels to the country, among which national security and water security are the most prominent.
The pollution of water bodies, which provide the raw water for the production of potable water for the population, is particularly concerning as the threat seems to be escalating daily.
There have been concerns that, Ghana risks importing water in the coming years if steps are not taken to remedy the situation.