We will not continue to allow water bodies get polluted – Minister
Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, has expressed concern at the fast rate at which water bodies in the country are losing their wholesomeness.
The bad conditions of these natural water resources, she said, were mostly due to the illegal mining activities (galamsey).
“This could not continue to go on”, Mrs Dapaah observed, when she inspected the Offin River at Abompe, in the Atwima-Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
She called on Ghanaians to do things right in safeguarding water bodies and our immediate environments.
There needed to be concerted efforts of all stakeholders, including traditional leaders, religious leaders, and legal small-scale miners to rise and fight the war against the galamsey menace.
“What we are doing currently is in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six – that we produce potable water and keep good sanitation and environment.
The Minister had gone to assess the state of the water body to know whether the activities had improved or worsened, and took the opportunity to take water samples to check the turbidity.
She was accompanied by officials from the Water Resources Commission, Ghana Water Company Limited and other engineers working on water quality.
Mrs Dapaah said the Ministry, which was responsible for water bodies and water resources, whether underground or surface water, was working hard to ensure that quality water was produced for Ghanaians to drink.
She said there was an ongoing exercise, moving from region to region, to find out the state and what is happening to our water bodies to inform the authorities of the necessary actions to take.
The inspection also afforded the Minister the opportunity to meet the chief and people of Bedabuo, a small farming and mining community in the district.
The Chief, Nana Omono Asamoah, suggested that task forces should be formed in all areas where mining activities took place in Ghana to better trace and prosecute illegal miners.
The Minister, in response to Nana Asamoah’s request, proposed that other sector ministers who were jointly responsible to chase out the galamseyers, to consider the formation of such task forces to help in operations.
This, she believed, would help eradicate the issue and help in President Nana Akufo-Addo’s warpath in the illegal mining.
“No matter who you are, if you go wrong in this fight, you will be dealt with seriously,” she stated.
Nana Asamoah pledged support to collaborate effectively with interested parties to ensure that the water and lands in the area were protected.
Mr Isaac Kofi Marfo, District Chief Executive, Atwima-Mponua, said the Assembly was working hard with security agencies to root out illegal miners in the area.
He said more than 20 persons have been arrested in connection with these activities and had been processed for legal actions.