Checks indicate that galamsey operators continue to work on some rivers, which serve as major sources of drinking water for communities in the region.
Residents of Essuoso in the Tarkwa Nsuaem municipality have to wake up at 3 a.m every day to fetch water from a stream polluted by galamsey activities.
Joy News’ Kwaku Owusu Peprah reports that for decades people of Essuoso and surrounding communities have lived and survived depending on water from the Bonsa river, which pass through the village.
But some few years ago, the chief, assemblyman and the other unit committee members in the area took a decision, which has caused wanton destruction in the area. Most affected is the only source of drinking water for the people.
“The colour of the river has turned brown. The galamsey operators have been working in the river and they are also using excavators to mine in the middle of the town. It has become difficult to get clean water in this village. People have to struggle before they get even a bucket of water”, a resident of the community, who gave his name as Uncle Ebo, noted.
The community is overwhelmed by the wanton destruction the galamsey operators are causing in the communities as earth moving heavy duty equipment sit at the edge of the river and scrape the river-bed, prospecting for gold.
“We like the galamsey, but not when it is done in the river. We allowed them to work in the area and took money from the owners of the pit – GHS50 a day from each operator.
“But now they have polluted the river and we regret this. We have not accounted for the proceeds to the community because the committee has not found time to do that yet.
“For many of the residents, they are very angry at the situation and have been calling on the mineral’s commission at Tarkwa to act immediately to solve the problem”, Richard Maxwell Quayeson, Unit Committee Chairman of Essuoso Bonsawre Area indicated.
People in the community told Joy News the committee has stockpiled thousands of ghana cedis as proceeds from the galamsey activities, two-thirds of which goes to the chief and the remaining is expected to be invested in developmental activities in the community.
Yet, no investment has been made so far and the ordinary resident is left to suffer before getting a cup of water to drink.