An Information Technology (IT) specialist, Mr Prince A. L. Zutah has suggested the need to employ the use of smart technologies to monitor the activities of small-scale gold miners to prevent illegal mining in the country.
He observed the government was making effort to stop illegal mining operations but smart technologies such as mobile apps and webs, acoustic monitoring devices, and cloud-based mapping could effectively help the cause had not been employed yet.
Mr Zutah, an IT Manager of Bisvel Communications Limited made the suggestion when he was speaking at a symposium organised by the School of Sciences, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, stressing the nation could control illegal mining through effective application of those technologies.
It was on the theme “The Use of Smart Technologies to Control Illegal-Mining and Logging in Ghana” and sponsored by MTN Ghana and Bisvel Communications Limited.
Mr Zutah observed one of the factors that had been pushing the youth to engage in illegal-mining activity was “lack of employment opportunities”.
He argued, “occupational impediments right after graduation from universities were multi-pronged which become the sole reason for the involvement of the young population in such means of earning livelihood owing to the non-fulfillment of their dreams”.
Mr Zutah noted other major causes that drove the youth to engage in such lucrative means of income included the absence of job security even after securing a job and inadequate remuneration.
He cited among others the penchant for dressing stunningly, owning plush houses, driving luxurious cars and the access to the latest technology were also basis in adopting “devilish” activities such as ‘galamsey’ (illegal-mining).
In a speech read on his behalf, Dr Abdul Wadood Moomen of the School of Mines and Built Environment, UENR said “smart technologies can offer a scalable, affordable and flexible infrastructure to bust information silos and bureaucratic processes and support a change agenda for illegal mining”.
He stated to effectively harness the potentials of smart technologies to prevent illegal- mining and ensure environmental and mining best practices, there was the need for collaboration among public-private sector organizations, including the banks and tertiary educational institutions.