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General News of Friday, 21 April 2017

Source: 3news.com

Galamsey continues on Pra River despite ban

Illegal small scale miners busily prospecting for gold from the Pra River Illegal small scale miners busily prospecting for gold from the Pra River

Illegal mining activities along the Pra River in the Western Region continue unabated despite the coming into force the ban on all forms of illegal small scale mining, popularly known as galamsey, in the country.

Galamsey activities have caused massive destruction to the country’s environment and particularly polluted water bodies, destroyed arable and farmlands as well as the forest covers.

A stepped-up campaign by government and some civil society groups to end all forms of illegal mining across the country has forced some of the miners to surrender their equipment as the government is set to move in on the recalcitrant ones.

Following the expiration of a three-week ultimatum issued to illegal miners by the government to leave their mining pits, some of the galamseyers have since Wednesday left their sites and surrendered their excavators.

But illegal alluvial gold miners operating on the Pra River appear unfazed by the ban as they are still mining for gold.

Some executive members of the Water Ladies Association have join in the fight against galamsey activities by calling on government not only to focus on seizure of excavators mostly used by surface miners but also evict those practicing alluvial gold mining in our water bodies such as the Pra River.

Alluvial gold miners are still operating on the Pra River despite the ban of illegal small scale mining activities in the country by government with their activities increasing the cost of water production by GWCL especially at the Daboase head works in the western region.

At the time the national executives of the Water Ladies Association visited the Daboase and Inchaban Water Headworks on Friday, some illegal alluvial gold miners were busily working in the middle of the Pra River despite the ban.

The miners were operating close to the intake points of the two water headworks, something that has seriously affected water supply in most parts of the Western Region due to the high level of pollution from their activities.

The water colour has turned brownish with oily substances visible on the surface of the River. Heaps of sand have been left right in the middle of the River, hampering smooth flow of raw water into the intake point.

The Daboase Headworks which was designed to produce six million gallons daily now produces only two million gallons, and Ghana Water Company have had to use 100 bags of aluminum sulphate instead of the previous 50 bags to treat water daily.

The water turbidity of the Pra River according to authorities had also gone up to 3,000 instead of the required 50.

The Ghana Water Company recently had to spent about GHC50, 000 to dredge deep-seated sands sitting in the mouth of the intake point as a result of galamsey activities.

Meanwhile, the executives of the Water Ladies Association have expressed surprise that despite the ban some illegal miners were still prospecting for gold on the Pra River.

National president of the Association, Juliana Amponsah-Asiamah expressed worry about the uncontrolled activities of galamseyers on the Pra River.

She further pledged their support to government in the fight against galamsey but suggested government should not lose sight of illegal alluvial miners who are still operating on the Pra River.

Western Regional chief manager of the Ghana Water Company Ing. Mark Tieko Cudjoe said galamsey activities have increased the cost of water production at their headworks and called on government to intensify the crusade against illegal mining in the country.

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