illegal mining
illegal mining

Selling our water bodies for Gold ? the Abreshia experience, a GNA feature by Mildred Siabi-mensah

Illegal mining in led to the pollution of many water bodies
Illegal mining in led to the pollution of many water bodies

It is a known accolade that water and for that matter potable water is life. Water, be it fresh or purified arguably is even more sustaining in times of crises than food.

But gradually, Ghana?s water bodies are being sold for gold by some unscrupulous citizens whose selfish interest continues to override the interest of majority of Ghanaians through illegal mining popularly called galamsey.

A tour of some communities where Community Water and Sanitation Agency is operating showed that the project is competing with illegal mining especially in the Wassa Akropong area of the Western Region.

Trenches were left uncovered after illegal mining operations.

The Abreshia Experience

Located in the Amenfi East District, the Nanako-Abreshia Water Supply Project has been designed to serve an estimated population of about 5,189 but a unit committee chairman who is a member of the water management team has dug a trench close to the project to prospect for gold.

Chemical Emission

The use of mercury, acid or Sinead by these illegal miners could pose health implications in the near future particularly defects in new born babies and other health complications.

Nana Danso Ababio 11, the Chairman of the Board of the CWSA, said it was unbelievable how an individual?s selfish interest must halt such a huge investment by the government and urged the community and the district assembly to ensure that such trenches were immediately sealed.

Overview of the Projects

Mr. Clement Bugase, Chief Executive Officer of the CWSA, said over $75 million had been committed in providing safe drinking water for communities in the Western, Central, Upper East and Upper West, Brong-Ahafo and Northern regions.

In all, 1200, boreholes fitted with pumps, 40 limited reticulation systems and 29 small town piped schemes are being delivered under the project that began in March 2013.

Mr. Bugase said the Western Region had been allocated 19 of the projects being executed by KADACCOM, the contracting engineers.

Esiama, Jappa, Nananko, Beppoh and Abreshie are expected to benefit from the project to serve over 25,000 people.

The CWSA said access to potable water could reduce water borne disease, poverty levels and increase enrollment of the girl child in rural communities and wondered why illegal mining was gradually depleting and destroying this valuable resource.

The intervention according to him is also to raise the current potable water coverage from 54 per cent to 75 per cent by 2015.

Mr. Bugase appealed to all contractors working on the project to meet the December 2014 deadline to enable test runs before the projects were finally handed over to the beneficiary communities by 2015.




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