Two major water bodies in the Western North Region which were heavily polluted due to the activities of illegal mining, commonly known as “galamsey” is clearing up.
The two, River Bia and River Tano was polluted with chemicals, including mercury and had lost its aquatic life as a result.
The water bodies were also silted with mud, making it poor for domestic consumption.
During a visit to the Tano river at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western North Region yesterday, as part of a day’s working trip, an elated Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, said, the clearing water bodies was an indication that government’s strategies to fight illegal mining was working.
The focus, he said, was to completely halt activities of illegal miners, particularly in water bodies across the country and called for more support in tackling all illegalities in the land, forestry and mining sector.
Earlier, in a meeting with the Western North Regional Minister, Richard Ebba Obeng, he admitted that despite the efforts by Operation Halt in the fight against illegal mining, results have been far from satisfactory and cautioned that more needs to be done to tackle the menace.
“Flying over this area, you can see that more efforts was needed to permanently deal with the threat of illegal mining. The illegalities continue to exist and our water bodies and forest are still being depleted. We can’t sit back now. We need to do more in the fight,” Mr Jinapor stated.
He called on Regional Security Council to intensify their roles as arrowheads in the fight against illegal mining and collaborate with the Ministry in designing plans and strategies to tackle the threat.
He said the government’s conviction was to ensure a viable and sustainable minerals development sector that generate the needed revenue for development and create employment opportunities for the youth.
Mr Obeng commended the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for prosecuting a difficult agenda of government by using the regional structures saying that it was the only way to realise success in the fight against the menace.
The Western North Regional Coordinating Council, he stated, was ready to support the efforts by the Ministry and its agencies in promoting sustainable mining within the jurisdiction.
Mr Jinapor yesterday paid a working visit to the Western North Region to interact with stakeholders, including traditional authorities, members of the Regional Security Council on matters relating to mining, forestry and lands and engage with small-scale miners.
With similar exercises undertaken in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central Regions, the visit was to court the support of the stakeholders in the respective regions to curb illegal mining and restore the nation’s forest cover.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, SEFWI WIAWSO