The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing , Dr. Kwaku Agyemang–Mensah, has condemned illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, saying it should not be allowed to override the national interest.
He urged chiefs, district security committees (DISEC) and regional security councils (REGSEC) to team up and protect water bodies and the environment against illegal mining.
“Galamasey is wrong, it’s not a one man job; we need everybody. All hands must be on the deck,” Dr. Agyemang-Mensah told journalists after a two-day tour of water installations at Daboase, Essiama, Axim, Nsuaem , Bonsa and Aboso areas of the Western Region.
He alleged that assembly members, district chief executives, police commanders and chiefs were collaborating with Chinese collaborators to engage in ‘galamsey’.
Dr. Agyemang-Mensah said reports from the Ghana Water Company (GWCL) indicated that the treatment and distribution of water from the Daboase and Bonsa Head works was undermined by activities of illegal miners, who polluted the River Pra and River Bonsa.
“We have to stop galamsey. You cannot mount your CHAN FA machine along river banks and destroy our water bodies. Indeed, we must come together and check these selfish people from destroying the environment and economy,” the minister said.
He said: “We need to make ‘galamsey’ criminal. It’s an offence, one day, water distribution will be a problem.”
The Deputy Managing Director of GWCL, Irenious Buule, suggested the stationing of military personnel at the head works along River Pra and River Bonsa to help check illegal mining and to protect the environment.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Aboso