President John Dramani Mahama ended his two day working visit to the Eastern Region with the commissioning of a Water Treatment Plant for the people of Kyebi in the East Akyem Municipality on Wednesday .
The plant is part of six projects at Akyem Asafo, Apedwa in the East Akyem Municipality, Kwabeng and Anyinam in the Atiwa District and Osenase in the West Akyem District, which were constructed at the cost of 7.9 million Euros.
Addressing a mini durbar of chiefs and people of Kyebi on Wednesday, President Mahama expressed concern about the activities of illegal mining, popularly known as ?galamsey? in the area.
He said the situation was worrying and the earlier something was done about it the better it would be for the inhabitants of the area.
President Mahama said, the rate of degradation of the environment at Kyebi, as a result of the illegal mining activities, should be a concern to everybody and called on the traditional authorities to join hands with the government to flush out the illegal miners to save the environment.
He said it was unfortunate that due to illegal mining, all water bodies in the area had been destroyed, making it difficult for the Ghana Water Company to treat water for the people.
President Mahama said the Ghana Water Company (GWC) had to spend more money to buy chemicals, four times more than what is required for the treatment of the water to make it portable for the people of the area.
He said government was not against mining in the area, but would not sit unconcerned for people to destroy the environment.
The President cautioned that, anybody who wants to go into mining should follow the laid down procedures or face the wrath of government.
He announced that, the Government of Ghana, in collaboration with the World Bank and the Chinese Government, would soon launch a programme to reclaim all illegally mined sites.
President Mahama said under the programme, the World Bank would provide financial support with the Chinese government providing equipment.
The Minister of Works, Housing and Water Resoures, Mr Collins Dauda urged the people to appreciate what the government had done for them.
He said similar projects would be undertaken for other communities to solve the perennial water problems across the country.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, Okyehehene, who was not at the durbar grounds, later joined President Mahama to commission the project. GNA