Gold that impoverishes, water that kills
Water pollution due to illegal gold mines is a serious problem in Ghana, a country in which 70% of the diseases are caused by unsafe water. Galamsey is a phenomenon that prevents the economic growth of the country and pollutes rivers and aquifers to lethal levels. This is the case of the Ghanaian protagonist of the short film Nothing Has Changed, finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 4.
Nothing Has Changed, short film by Apag (Ghana), finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 4 in the Micro-fiction category.
Ghana is a country that has made significant progress against poverty in the last decade. However, there are still very depressed areas with no access to water or sanitation, such as the Zabzugu district, in the northern region of the country, where the We Are Water Foundation, together with World Vision, carried out a project for the construction of wells that benefitted over 6,300 people in an area where only 38.3 % of the population has access to drinking water and 15.2 % has adequate latrines. This is one of the reasons why 50 out of every 1,000 children born in this area do not reach their first birthday, and 100 die before reaching the age of 4. Also 71.4% of those children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition and 52.1% from acute malnutrition. The Foundation’s projects also reached the town of Old Ningo, in the Prampram district, where latrines were built in the Ahwiamun community, in which most of the population defecates in the open.
The government efforts to end these pockets of poverty, many of them ravaged by illegal mining, are hampered by high levels of corruption facilitated by flagrant legal loopholes and by the lack of investment in adequate technology for environmentally friendly mining.
The father of Whoe, the protagonist of the short film, grows sick from water pollution. For Whoe nothing has changed (hence the title of the short film) and water continues to be far away and polluted. It is a planetary responsibility that people like Whoe, who suffer the lack of access to drinking water, do not age without having attained it.