The Nzema East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Dorcas Elizabeth Amoah, has intimated that a collaborative and sustained effort among all district assemblies in which the River Ankobra runs through will help to effectively deal with illegal mining on the water body.
The MCE stated that if there is no collaboration on the swoops done and there is no corresponding activity all the way to the source of the River Ankobra, their efforts to fight off the miners and protect the water bodies will not be effective.
“The problem is that, River Ankobra stretches all over to Sefwi, Prestea Huni Valley, Bibiani before it empties into the sea here at Nzema East. Imagine that all the districts along the River Ankobra decide to do targeted swoops simultaneously and these swoops are unannounced and sustained, the effect will be massive”.Dorcas Amoah
Dorcas Amoah averred that the surrounding districts must be able to tackle the issue holistically by bringing together all the about 6 districts assemblies to deliberate and commit themselves to a roadmap with targets and timelines to help deal with the mining on the water body.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we will make great strides. Growing up, River Ankobra was a delight to watch when crossing it. There are thousands of people who depended and still depend on it for their livelihood. In fact, for some all their life revolves around the River Ankobra. But now, the river is gradually losing its usefulness and the effects will be too big for us to handle”.Dorcas Amoah
Dorcas Amoah’s proposal of a collaborative strategy comes after the Nzema East Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) embarked on a swoop on illegal miners operating on the River Ankobra.
Illegal mining continues to be a major problem
Dorcas Amoah averred that illegal mining continues to be a major problem for all who reside along the Ankobra River and as such, ever since she became the MCE, she has been engaging various stakeholders on how to arrive at a permanent solution to tackle the illegal mining.
“One is the unannounced swoops and two days ago, we embarked on one. We did not make any arrest but the team burnt about 14 changfan machines and several platforms that the illegal miners have mounted on the river and operating on. I mean, it takes a lot of money to build these huge platforms and changfan machines. So, when they are destroyed, it is difficult to mobilize and get them immediately again. When they are able to mobilize and come back, we will be there to destroy them again. We are planning to do the swoop every week”.Dorcas Amoah
She stated that government, in order to ensure that livelihoods are not destroyed and the environment is not destroyed, has launched the Community Mining Scheme. She urged for all involved in illegal mining to take advantage of this laudable foresight and move away from illegal mining especially on water bodies.
“President Akufo-Addo understands that mining is part of us but also appreciates the fact that if it must be done, it must be done well”.Dorcas Amoah