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General News of Friday, 5 April 2019

Source: Daniel Kaku

Galamsey fight: River Ankobra turns turgid again

Locals report that illegal miners have resumed operations due to the halt in monitoring of the IMCM

The Ankobra River in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region which recently regained its natural ecology as a result of the hard work by the Inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining (IMCIM) is getting turgid again.

The river until the work of the Inter-ministerial committee was heavily polluted by the activities of illegal small scale miners along it.

The Ankobra River plays a critical role in the lives of residents living along the bank.

The economic well-being of the people rested on the river.

However due to the incidence of illegal smale scale mining the River has lost all its significance.

Minister for Environment, Science and Technology Professor Frimpong Boateng had said government will need 400 million dollars to restore it.

However a series of efforts including the setting up of the Inter-ministerial committee on illegal small scale mining was able to push back the illegal miners.

"The river has been very clean for some weeks now, we are very happy as we can now go back to fishing... and come back home with a lot of catch. We can also use it to cook now'', John Ndede a fisherman had said.

Akua Ndoli who has been a fishmonger all her life had also said "for a long time I had to move to Esiama to buy fish. But thankfully in the past few weeks I only have to come to the Ankobra and I will get quite a sizeable amount of fish to buy".

One resident Samuel Eshun attributed the change to the work of the Inter-ministerial Committee on illegal small scale mining saying "we are aware that some security men were chasing the miners and seizing their equipment so the mining has stopped".

However things are changing for the worse.



The colour of the River is turning brownish an indication that illegal mining has resumed along sections upstream.

Fishermen who had earlier told news men of the success story could not hide their frustration on Thursday April 4, 2019.

"We don't know what is happening, the River is going bad again. Now if you cast your net, you only draw mud or sometimes pull an empty net", Michael Essien lamented.

He said that "from the look of things it appears the mining has resumed.

A group of young men who took news men on a trip on the Ankobra River claimed the documentary by Anas Aremeyaw Anas on galamsey could be blamed for their woes.

They observed that because the leadership of the inter-ministerial committee on illegal small scale mining is in disarray some of the miners have gone back.

"The illegal miners are taking advantage of the situation at the IMCIM to wreak havoc again".



According to them the only way the river can be restored again is "when those who made it possible for us to fish go back to work".

They also want government to take a decision on the Anas documentary.