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Akorabuokrom women lament over negative impacts of illegal mining on families

Women at Akorabuokrom, a farming community in the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti Region, have expressed worry at the rate illegal mining activities (galamsey) are breaking down marriages, causing deaths and making children go wayward.

The women alleged that some school children between ages 12 and 15 years who have resorted to these illegal mining activities were boycotting schools and picking up unhealthy lifestyles.

Many children, according to the women, have fallen into the uncovered pits, which are scattered in many neigbouring communities in the area, and never return home alive.

These came to light after the women engaged in a solidarity march organized by SOKODEVI, as part of activities marking the 2024 International Women’s Day.

It was held on the theme: ‘Towards Women Inclusive Safeguarding for Sustainable Environment and Mineral Governance.’

The women echoed that although illegal mining activities were not being done in Akrobuokrom itself, their husbands and children trekked to the adjoining
communities to engage in the galamsey.

According to them, most of the men after getting small monies, jilted their wives for new girlfriends and thereby, breaking their homes and causing disputes in families.

Nana Atta Pokua, Queen mother of Akorabuokrom advised the women to take strong measures to discourage their kids from engaging in illegal mining activities to help build promising future for themselves.

Dr Rosemary Akolaa, a Senior Lecturer, University of Environment and Sustainable Development, taking the townsfolks through illegal mining threats to the wellbeing of women, called on Ghanaians to rethink about the dangers galamsey posed to the nation.

She said if the menace continued the future would be bleak with multiple environmental effects and a challenge to socio-economic development.

Ms Omolara Aka Oyelakun Tay, Gender Specialist, SOKODEVI, said the organization recognized women’s enormous contributions to society.

When illegal mining occurs in communities, women suffer myriad negative socia
l impacts.

These activities occur in rural communities whose source of drinking water is rivers or streams.

However, due to the destruction of water bodies because of illegal mining, women who are culturally defined to perform domestic chores including fetching water – walk for longer hours in search of water.

Source: Ghana News Agency