Nzema East MCE urges concerted effort in stopping illegal mining on River Ankobra

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The Nzema East Municipal Chief Executive, Dorcas Elizabeth Amoah, believes that a collaborative and sustained effort among all district assemblies in which the River Ankobra runs through will help to deal decisively with illegal mining on the water body.

“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. Now, if we do our swoops here and there is no corresponding activity all the way to the source of the River Ankobra, our efforts will not be effective. 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”.

“So, we must be able to tackle this issue holistically by bringing together all the about 6 districts assemblies, speak among ourselves, commit ourselves to a roadmap with targets and timelines and swoop on these unpatriotic people together and I have no doubt in my mind that we will make great strides”.

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Dorcas Elizabeth Amoah proposed the collaborative strategy after the Nzema East Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) embarked on a swoop on illegal miners operating on the River Ankobra.

“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. Illegal mining continues to be a major problem for all of us. So, ever since I became the MCE, I have been engaging various stakeholders on how we can come out with a permanent solution to tackle 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”.

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She said: “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. So, in order to ensure that livelihoods are not destroyed, in order to ensure that the environment is not destroyed he has launched the Community Mining. Let us all take advantage of this laudable foresight and move away from illegal mining especially on water bodies”.

Axim Divisional Police Commander ACP Francis Kwame Tsidi indicated that the MUSEC has done an extensive assessment of the entire downstream part of the River Ankobra and will be deploying several strategies all in the bid to ensure that the last illegal miner on the river is flushed out.

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“But then again, to be more effective, I support the MCE’s call for collaboration among all affected districts and where the River Ankobra passes through.”

He cautioned that “so long as I am here and with the strong leadership from the Municipal Assembly and with support from other security agencies, I tell you I will keep pushing them”.

“We have a plan to go further north and upstream and we will do our possible best to rid the river off all forms of activities destroying it. We cannot see this in our lifetime that the river we inherited dies during our time.”

By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana

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