The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, has called on stakeholders to support the President to stop illegal mining in the country.
According to her, the activities of the illegal miners were not only destroying water bodies but treatment plants placed at river banks to refine water for distribution to the citizenry.
“It is sad to note the devastation these illegal miners have caused to the water bodies. It is amazing that all their activities are close to treatment plants purchased with money to refine the water for us and we need all stakeholders and everyone to help the President to stop this menace immediately,” she said.
Ms Dapaah was speaking during a briefing with the media after she had inspected some river bodies and sites close to the country’s water treatment plants at Kyebi, Bunso and Osino in the Eastern Region.
The inspection was part of the minister’s four-day working tour to the Eastern and Ashanti Regions, to assess the water bodies and to enable her check water treatment plants in both regions.
The minister who was accompanied by the Eastern Regional Minister and some Chief Directors of the Ministry and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Okyenhene.
Ms Dapaah stated that it was sad to note that when the GWCL was doing its best to provide clean water for the communities, “illegal miners were also busily working at same river bodies where water treatment plants where and destroying all the work they have done.”
She also noted that as a result of the muddying of the river due to activities of the illegal miners, the capacity of raw water needed into the treatment plant was affected, adding that the treatment plant was unable to take the needed capacity of water required by the GWCL to treat water for distribution to homes in surrounding communities.
“If they extract a quantum of raw water from the river, they have to throw away about 60 to 80 per cent of it away,” she lamented.
She stated that the Birim at Kyebi had the cleanest water with turbidity of 11 which was within the acceptable international units.
However, the same river at Bunso had 330 turbidities as of Monday afternoon adding that the situation was worrying.
For his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong, said per the law, miners were supposed to mine 100 metres away from water bodies.
“However, this is the case seeing the extent of damage done to our water bodies.”
He advised the illegal miners to desist from the act and stated that the government was committed to fighting galamsey and would ensure that persons who engaged in such acts were dealt with according to law.
Pic one to three…Minister and other dignitaries inspecting Birim River at Bunso and Osino.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, OSINO