The activities of small scale miners popularly known as ‘galamsey’, in the Wassa Amenfi East District of the Western Region, is polluting water bodies and threatening the health of the people in the area.
Galamsey miners, with cyanide and mercury have polluted the River Ankobra, Mr Joseph Baah-Darkoh, the District Planning Officer told the GNA in a telephone interview on Friday.
“We are sitting on a time bomb and if no drastic measure is taken by the government, it could result in a serious outbreak of diseases and deaths,” Mr Baah-Darkoh cautioned.
He said the small-scale miners were destroying cocoa farms and degrading the environment with impunity and this could affect the local economy in the near future.
The District Planning Officer said such dangerous chemicals could seep into underground waters to pollute mechanical boreholes as well.
He said the Assembly has dug two mechanical boreholes at Japa and Ananakwakyia, to ease the scarcity of drinking water and also as a measure in addressing the challenge of supplying potable water to the people.
Mr Baah-Darkoh said 10 communities in the district have been earmarked to benefit from boreholes under the sustainable rural sanitation and water project with support from the World Bank.
Communities benefiting from the package include Dawurapong, Dompoase, Nkonya, Akatreso, Abrokyir-krobo, Menfeso, Bebiarayiha, Appiakrom and Sobreso.
Mr Baah-Darkoh said 14 other communities in the district would also benefit from a European Union support for a Small Town Water System project next year.
He called for the regularization of activities of small-scale mining to curb the degradation.
Mr Baah-Darko noted that water is essential to human existence, therefore every well-meaning Ghanaian should be concerned about protecting it from pollution.