Cecilia Abena Dapaah, minister of sanitation and water resources, has denounced illegal miners, calling them a group of nation-wreckers.
When she traveled to a part of the Offin River at Abompe in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region, she urged law enforcement organizations to guarantee that anyone caught committing such crimes would face harsh punishment.
She voiced worry about how the Ghana Water Company Limited’s (GWCL) operations are being impacted by illegal miners’ ongoing pollution of water bodies.
The Minister claimed that as a result of ongoing water body contamination by illegal miners, the GWCL is seeing an increase in the cost of producing water at its treatment plants around the nation.
“We have realized of late that the cost of producing water is going higher, and it is like there’s no end. That is why we are joining forces as a matter of duty with stakeholders like the chiefs, the youth, and legal small-scale miners to make sure we are all on one page as well as religious leaders to make sure we preserve our heritage meaning our environment, our lands, and our water resources. It is our duty. National Security says see something say something, we are adding do something,” she said.
Due to the turbidity levels of water bodies caused by illegal mining operations, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) must regularly replace damaged equipment at an increasing cost.
The decrease in treated and supplied water quantities due to illegal miners’ pollution of water sources is another issue that officials are attempting to address.
Ing. Clifford Braimah, managing director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), issued a warning about imminent repercussions if the illicit mining threat is not handled.
In the Atwima Mponua District’s Bedabo, the Minister visited with people and opinion leaders while accompanied by technical staff and engineers from the Ministry, and she pleaded with them to support the government’s efforts in the fight against illegal mining.
She also urged coordinated action to stop the threat.
“We all get down and agree that it is the Ghanaian who guides the foreigners into the hinterlands to carry out this horrible task, she said. We ought to halt it. Every town and neighborhood is familiar with its residents. We are aware of their locations in every area. I’m pleased, and we respect our chiefs since they are the guardians of our lands and the folks who live there, but there is no question that the minerals therein belong to the President. To ensure that we recapture what God has given us, we should all cooperate as citizens,” she said.
Recent studies conducted at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have linked unlawful mining to high concentrations of heavy metals in waterbodies.