The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has served notice that no one will be spared in the quest by President Akufo-Addo to ensure that all river bodies and forests are not destroyed by irresponsible mining.
Speaking at the Daboase Water Treatment Plant belonging to the Ghana Water Company in the Western Region, Mr. Jinapor said the government’s renewed spirit against irresponsible and small-scale mining is unabated and all saboteurs seeking to thwart the government’s effort will not be spared irrespective of who is found culpable.
Due to the activities of illegal miners on the Pra River which serves as one of the major sources of raw water for treatment to consumers in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and its environs, the turbidity and color parameters have risen to 3000 nephelometric unit and 5000 Hazen unit.
He said the Akufo-Addo-led government had drawn some key important lessons from its first fight against galamsey and is willing to rather promote a regulated small-scale mining sector contrary to views being held that government is against small-scale mining.
“President Akufo-Addo and his government are not against mining in Ghana neither are we against small scale mining, In-fact on the contrary, we want to promote small scale mining, and we want to do so on a regulated basis and a responsible manner that does not compromise the river bodies and the environment,’’ he emphasized.
Mr. Abu Jinapor further revealed that the Forestry Commission has been directed not to issue any licence or permit to any individual or group of persons.
He added that the Regional Security Councils have been given the mandate to ensure that illegal miners do not mine in forest reserves and water bodies.
“We are confident and hopeful that the various Regional Security Councils across our country will take up the responsibility to flush out all these illegalities in the small-scale mining industry.”
The MP for Damongo emphasized that within a month or two, there should be a major improvement in water bodies and forest cover.
On her part, Water and Sanitation Minister Cecilia Dapaah who led the government delegation on a three-day working visit to the Western Region urged Ghanaians not to connive with Chinese nationals to destroy the water bodies.
“We must make sure that we keep our rivers and our water bodies clean so that the next generation will come and enjoy what God has given us.”
Meanwhile, the Managing Director for Ghana Water Company, Ing Clifford Braimah said due to the activities of illegal miners on the Pra River, the cost of treatment of raw water has skyrocketed making it impossible for the company to meet the demand of consumers.