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Some angry residents of Nzema are unhappy about the rate at which illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey‘ is destroying forests and water bodies in the area.

They have indicated at a press conference held at Bakanta, a community in the Ellembele District of the Western Region that security heads and political authorities in the area have refused to call the illegal miners to order, a situation they described as unfortunate.

They believe the government’s commitment to fighting the menace is loose and as such, they will continue to make their voices heard until their rivers, land, and forests are free from illegal mining pollution.

Elizabeth Allua Vaah, leader of Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group told journalists that residents in Nzema, Wassa, and others are running headlong to their deaths due to the continued activities of illegal mining.

“We want to say today that enough is enough. Send this message to our esteemed Nananom, who, as custodians of the land, are the last protectors of our lands, forests, and rivers that we cannot let this continue. Even if our political leaders have let us down, they, Nananom, are our last hope. Today, many of us in Egila (Dwira), Nzema, Aowin, Sefwi, Wassa, and Ashanti are drinking mercury & lead-laden water, eating tubers, fruits, and fishes that have been contaminated with poisonous heavy metals,” she indicated.

She indicates that four children from some communities in Nzema have died in pits left uncovered by illegal miners.

“Already, a few have died in open pits in our communities – Four (4) at Nkroful, two (2) at Anwia, and one (1) in Telekubokazo. Do their deaths mean anything to you, Nananom? Our cocoa production has reduced, and whatever little we have left will soon be tagged as contaminated with heavy metals. Isn’t that concerning enough?” She quizzed.

She adds that the state has failed in the fight against illegal mining and residents in Nzema would have to stand up to offer protection to their environment.

“If the state of Ghana won’t keep us safe, and some of our traditional leaders are also going to betray us, then it’ll be up to us regular citizens to stand up and protect our communities.
Today, at Aiyinasi Sendu, Adjei Obeng Krom, Anwia, Abelebo, Egila Eshiem, Banso, Dadieso, and others, our lands are being poisoned by foreigners and Ghanaians fronting for foreigners,” she stressed.

Water from galamsey contaminated river being used to prepare cassava dough

By Eric Nana Gyetuah|ConnectFM|Takoradi