Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has called out illegal miners, describing them as a bunch of nation wreckers.
She called on law enforcement agencies to ensure persons found engaging in such acts are severely punished when she visited a section of the Offin River at Abompe in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
She expressed concerns over how the continuous pollution of water bodies by activities of illegal miners is affecting the operations of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
The Minister said the GWCL is witnessing an increasing cost of water production at the treatment plants of the GWCL across the country due to the continuous pollution of water bodies by illegal miners.
“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.
The Ghana Water Company Limited(GWCL) is faced with the increasing cost of treating water and the regular replacement of damaged equipment following turbidity levels of water bodies due to illegal mining activities.
Officials are also grappling with the reduction in volumes of water treated and supplied to customers as a result of pollution of water sources by illegal miners.
Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Ing. Clifford Braimah warned of imminent consequences if the illegal mining menace is not addressed.
The Minister was, with technical staff and engineers from the Ministry, met residents and opinion leaders at Bedabo in the Atwima Mponua District and appealed to them to support the Government’s effort in the fight against illegal mining.
She also called for concerted efforts to address the menace.
She added that “we all sit down and say it is the Ghanaian who leads the foreigners into the hinterlands to do this evil work. We should stop it. Every village and community knows its people. In every region, we know where they are. I am happy, and we respect our chiefs they are the custodians of our lands as well as the families, but the minerals therein are the President’s and there is no controversy about it. So we should all work together as citizens to make sure we reclaim what God has given us”.