Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, told the media in Prestea in the Western Region during the tour of some mining sites.
The Minister said River Tano and Bia River, which tributaries enter Ivory Coast’s lagoons had polluted that country’s water bodies. The pollution was as a result of the activities of illegal mining in Ghana, hence the meeting to find a solution to the problem.
He said water was an essential resource that all citizens must preserve and protect hence the fight to halt menace.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Prestea-Hemang, Nana Ntaboah Pra IV, has expressed his support to government’s decision to halt mining in the water bodies.
He said the practice had destroyed River Ankobra, which served as a source of drinking water for the inhabitants of the area.
“We have taken the move to destroy dredgers being used for mining in the Ankobra River and even four days to the 2016 general election we burnt eight of them,” he stated.
He asked Ghanaians not to politicise the government resolve to halt illegal mining in water bodies.
He appealed to the Water Resources Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency to join the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to clamp down on mining in rivers.
The Chief said the country must preserve the water bodies and the vegetation in better condition for the future generation.
The two deputy ministers Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi and Mr Owusu-Bio as well as some officials of the Minerals Commission later visited Wasa Akropong in the Wasa Amenfi East where some Chinese nationals had created a community with Chinese writings being inscribed on various shops, buildings and streets.
The Chinese were said to have invested in the illegal mining business in the area and use all sorts of machines for the illegal mining.
The indigenes said the presence of the Chinese also boosted trade and other socio-economic activities.
However, a recent swoop by the Police leading to the arrest and deportation of some Chinese ‘galamseyers’ had slowed down business in the Chinese community.