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Regional News of Friday, 22 May 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Sefwi Subiri kicks against Chinese galamsey

The people of Sefwi Subiri, a small farming community in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western Region, have protested against a proposed small scale mining activity in the area.

The people marched through the streets of the town to register their displeasure when a group of Chinese nationals and their Ghanaian counterparts recently stormed the community with an excavator machine and other equipment to start profile works to begin mining activities along the banks of River Subiri.

However, the residents have resolved to resist the proposed illegal mining operation, saying that the river serves as their only source of drinking water and irrigation for their farming activities.

They carried placards that read: “Say No To Galamsey,” “We Don’t Want Any Chinese People In Our Village,” “President Mahama, Help Us To Fight Galamsey In Our Village,” “Protect Our Water Bodies” and “Think About The Future Generation.”

A 70-year-old woman, Maame Amakom, lamented to DAILY GUIDE that the river, which has become a target of the Chinese nationals, flows to her cocoa farm which yields thirty (30) bags annually.

She pointed out that if the river was destroyed by the Galamsey activities, it would have a damning consequence on her family since the farm is their main source of livelihood.

Another woman, Nana Affi, 62, a retired teacher, also noted that the river serves seven communities, namely, Subiri, Ewiakyiren, Buabenso, Moonor, Ntakam, Subiri Nkwanta and Kunkunso. She said all the communities drink from the river and so the illegal mining would pollute their source of drinking water.

“Mining at the bank of the river will result in shortage of water provision to these villages because the boreholes in the villages have broken down,” she added.

Another resident said, “Allowing Galamsey in the town will result in increased school dropout rates and social vices.”

The community members lamented that the Paramount Chief of the Anhwiaso Traditional Area had left them to their fate.

They demanded the immediate involvement of all chiefs and queen mothers of the traditional council to address the issue.

They alleged that some of the chiefs had received monies from the miners, hence their refusal to do anything about the situation.

The residents therefore appealed to President John Mahama to come to their aid since they suspected that the owner of the small scale mining company had paid bribes to certain influential personalities in the district, including the police, in order to have his way.

Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive of the area, Jacob Ware, has denied giving permit to any company to operate in the village.

The DCE added that his checks at the Minerals Commission showed that no company had been granted a permit by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to mine in the community.