Researcher on how moringa seeds, coconut and corn husks can purify 'galamsey waters'
A Ghanaian researcher, Dr. Adwoa Yirenkyi Fianko, has emphasised how some local materials can be used to purify polluted water caused by illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey.’
The researcher, Dr. Adwoa Yirenkyi Fianko, who is a senior lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) said moringa seeds, coconut and corn husks have potential to help purify waters that have been polluted through illegal mining.
She said they have proven to be effective materials in dealing with galamsey-induced water contamination.
This is contained in 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”.
Dr. Adwoa Yirenkyi Fianko, a senior lecturer at GIMPA is proposing the use of local materials in the treatment of polluted water due to illegal mining (galamsey) activities.
Speaking during a television discussion programme on illegal mining in Ghana on Citi TV on Thursday [November 3, 2022], Dr Fianko said moringa seeds, coconut and corn husks have proven to be effective materials in dealing with galamsey-induced water contamination.
She explained that coconut and corn husks are able to remove 100 per cent of lead from polluted water whilst moringa seeds could clear about 99 per cent of iron particles.
Additionally, she explained, coconut husk and corn husk again could remove about 97 and 88 per cent of iron from polluted water, respectively.
She noted that moringa serves as a coagulant, which has similar potential as 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”, Dr Fianko explained on the Citi TV’s show.
Dr Fianko’s discovery has come at the time that Ghana is battling with water pollution due to illegal mining activities across the country, polluting major water sources that are used for water treatment plants.
The Ghana Water Company Limited, for instance, has come out on many occasions to water the dire repercussions of illegal mining on water treatment, saying that if the practice is not stopped, a time will come where Ghana would have to import water.
The Citi Galamsey Dialogue programme brought together stakeholders and experts in the water resources to deliberate on the state of Ghana’s water resources and examine the effects of illegal mining on Ghana’s water security.