Some persons living close to the Ankobra River in the Western Region have expressed worry about the state of the river in recent times.
This follows the discolouring and to some extent, the poisoning of the water as a result of “galamsey” activities at the bank of the river.
The Assemblyman for Asanta, Ankobra in the Ellembelle District, Isaac Mokeh Cojo, who said he had known the river since childhood, expressed grave concern on the sorry state of the river, saying that the river was once clean and safe for drinking.
“I was born in a neighbouring town so I know the river very well. It is a water body which serves the communities here. It was drinkable some years back, with galamsey and some other activities, the state of the water has drastically changed,” he said.
Mr Cojo indicated that the fishes they caught in recent times were nowhere compared to what they used to catch previously.
“There is a vast difference and according to a research finding of some students, the fishes we get from the river now has been said to be a threat to our lives,” he disclosed.
Responding to whether the government’s intervention of safeguarding such water bodies had been useful, Mr Cojo registered his displeasure at some actions of the government, saying that such interventions had not been successful.
He emphasised that people living at banks of the river tend to suffer the most because of these activities.
“When the river gets full, it becomes difficult for it to flow easy and the people at the river banks tend to suffer. What I see is that we are not serious with these issues,” he added.
MrCojo, therefore, used the opportunity to call on the government to enforce stricter measures in order to put a stop to such activities and its attendant consequences on people living by.
Mr Paul NatoCudjoe, Organiser, Ankobra-Sanwoma Nursery said the state of the river was gradually clamping down on their fishing and farming activities.
He called on the government to as a matter of urgency come to their aid to combat the menace.
Meanwhile a team of security men have been deployed to clamp down on illegal mining activities on six major river bodies that have come under heavy attack by illegal miners.
The security men, working with five speed boats, are currently patrolling the Offin, Pra, Birim, Ankobra and Black Volta rivers.
These security men have been tasked to arrest all persons found mining in water bodies and clear the rivers of all mining equipment.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, made this known at a media briefing in Accra on Sunday.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR