Feature Article of Thursday, 30 July 2015
Columnist: Boateng, Emmanuel Agyemfra
Emmanuel Agyemfra Boateng
Two years ago,the National Security in connection with the Ministry of Natural Resources embarked on a national anti-illegal mining operations.This Operation was to see to it that,illegal mining in the Country was halted or flashed out permanently.
The Operation saw many Chinese nationals who were into illegal mining being arrested and others fleeing their sites when the National Security Officers came around their mining sites.The operation became a neccessity when most of the water bodies in the country were being polluted and others drying up which brought about water shortage in parts of the country.
The Chinese are back again into the illegal mining business!These Chinese operate directly in the rivers and it is commonly called “dig and wash” resulting into pollution of our river bodies. The use of Mercury in getting the gold is one dangerous thing which goes a long way to have dire effects on residents who use the river water.Mercury,when comes into contact with humanbeings causes deformities,Skin cancers,Still Births,Kidney failure and Hypertension.
On 23/7/2015,Myjoyoline.com reported on how the Ghana Water Company Limited(GWCL) was worried about the rate at which River Pra was being polluted by illegal mining operations especially those into Alluvial mining.
River Offin which was the pride of the Denkyiras is nothing to be proud of again because of its current nature which is as a result of the operations of illegal miners which are mostly Chinese.River Oda,which flows through Obuasi,Bekwai and Anwiankwanta suddenly dried up during the operations of these Alluvial Miners and brought about a serious water shortage to both residents of the Obuasi and Bekwai Municipalities who were on the GWCL pipe line.The cost of treating these polluted Rivers into portable drinking becomes a headache to the GWCL.
Away from the water pollution,These Chinese who engage in the illegal mining acquire the lands from either the Chief of the community or the farmer, and after acquiring the land which then becomes their personal property do whatever they want with the land.Clearing away cash crops such as Cocoa,Palm trees,Plantain and others!After their operations they don’t reclaim the lands,which serves as a death trap to village folks.
We sacrifice our precious Forest, farm lands and Rivers for illegal mining activities and sit unconcerned as if therer’s nothing at stake atall!Some towns and villages in parts of the Upper Denkyira East and West Districts which use to serve as bread basket for parts of the Central and Ashanti Regions now buy foodstuffs from the big towns,simply because they’ve sold off their farm lands to Chinese illegal miners.
This is just the begining of the Famine we are about to face if we continue to sit unconcerned.All aquatic animals in River Offin,Pra,Birim,Oda and others are all dead and no wonder we’ve started importing fish from China and other places!
In the Myjoyonline.com 23/7/15 publication,officials of GWCL said River Pra covers 41 Administrative Districts,so if all these Districts don’t get well treated water to drink and have fishes from Pra,then how do we define the begining of famine,both food and water?
These Chinese boosts the economy of towns they operate in,that’s creating employment for the youth in their Mine and patronizing local goods,yes,that’s very good but what are going to use the money for if we can’t do farming but have to import food and water….’as3m s3b3′
There is a village under the Diaso District called Nkronnua.The youth and people of Nkronnua have vowed never to give out any of their lands for Illegal mining and if you see the number of KIA trucks that come there every Thursday to buy foodstuffs for Obuasi,Kumasi and other big markets you will be marvelled.I admire their strong objection to illegal Mining.
I’m not in any way praying for a famine in our country but our attitude towards some of these issues might take us there!
I humbly plead with the Minister of Natural Resources,National House of Chiefs,National Security,Minerals Commission and the general public to rise up against the Alluvial Mining done by the Chinese which is killing our water bodies,Cash crops and Depleting our Forest reserves.
GHANA deserves better.
You can contact the writer on 0249542342/0508609109