THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with the Ghana Chamber of Mines on the transportation of acid and other combustible substances to the mining centres of the country to ensure safety on the roads.
The Executive Director of the EPA, Mr J.A. Allotey, who made this known in Kumasi, said details of the agreement would be made public soon.
He was speaking at the opening of the 2009 Africa Alumni Conference of the International Management of Resources and Environment (IMRE) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi last Wednesday.
The IMRE MBA programme is a unique course of study which offers a common managerial education, with special focus on the management of resources and the environment.
As of 2008, the IMRE programme was offered at two universities, namely TU Bergakademie Frieburg in Germany and the KNUST School of Business.
Mr Allotey, who spoke on the topic, “Environmental Impact of Mineral Extraction in Ghana”, expressed concern over the increasing spate of road accidents and said the two organisations could contribute to stem the problem.
He noted that mineral extraction had a wide and extensive impact on the environment at different phases of mining and, therefore, it was important that effective measures were taken to stem the problem.
He said it was to address the environmental impact that the National Environmental Policy had provided a broad framework for environmental management with the view to ensuring sound management for reserves and the environment and to avoid the exploitation of the resources in a manner that could cause serious damage to the environment.
The Executive Director stated that mining had also had positive results on the nation and so it was important that mining companies were supported to contribute to national development.
Mr Allotey said the EPA would not allow companies to flout environmental regulation in respect of mining, adding that
dust from mining was one dangerous area that needed attention to control.
“Dust, whether toxic or non-toxic, presents serious challenges for nearby communities and industrial machinery and also has damaging effects on vegetation by blocking plant pores and reducing light penetration and photosynthesis,” he said.
He pointed out that minerals extraction would continue to be with the people, no matter the protests in certain circles, saying what was needed was the adoption of best practices in mining to address the negative impacts.
Prof Jan C. Bongaerts of TU Bergakademie, Frieburg, said exchange programmes were good ways of building the capacity of professionals in academia.
He expressed the hope that the conference would help to further improve the programme.