Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah as part of her 2-day working visit to the Western Region to ascertain the effects of illegal mining activities on water bodies has paid a courtesy call on the chiefs and people of Himan in the Prestea Huni Valley municipality.
According to the minister, the tour is also to look at the Ankobra and Pra Rivers to witness their present state and the contributing factors to the pollution.
Madam Cecilia Dapaah addressing the media attributed most of the water bodies turning muddy to illegal mining, “galamsey”. She noted that this has affected the cost of treating water for domestic and industrial usage and when this happens, the customers tend to pay more for water bills to maintain the structures for water treatment.
She, therefore, appealed to the leaders of the communities and the people living in the community to collectively help the government in fighting this menace.
She said, “The illegal miners are enemies to the country, they muddy the water which causes problems for the Ghana Water Company and there will be a time there will be no water to drink.”
“Everybody who drinks water from this source should have it as a matter of urgency to help us fight this war, this was the driver left to us by our forebearers and they should leave the water alone.
Responding to a question on the government’s position on small-scale mining, Madam Cecilia Dapaah said, the government is in total support of legal mining because it is an avenue for employment opportunities for the youth.
She called for the practice of alluvial mining and community mining that are done underground and are harmless to water bodies to be encouraged.
“Government is not against mining, alluvial mining has been going on in the country for over 200 years, not the one with chanfeng, we all saw the shaft, the community mining process that they go underground and one shaft can take up to 3000 people, and there are six of them which means 18,000 people, so 18,000 jobs created, this should be encouraged,” she added.
The MCE of Prestea Huni Valley Dr. Isaac Dasmani, also reiterated on the water bodies being destroyed.
He stated that even though some small towns would prefer that the assembly drilled boreholes for them it is not ideal because all the water bodies have been polluted which poses extra cost for the water to be treated before use.
He further called on all the members of the community to collaborate with the municipal task force and mining committee members to be able to protect the water bodies.
The Honourable Minister continued her tour in the region on Tuesday, June 6, with a visit to the Wassa East District to check on the Ghana Water Company treatment plant in Daboase and the current situation of the Pra River and the Sekyere Hemang treatment plant in the Central Region.