The Ankobra River in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region is currently experiencing a surge in pollution from activities of illegal small scale gold miners who operate on the river.
Despite occasional security swoops to stop their activities, the pollution of Pra River has not stopped.
Speaking to Citi News after a swoop by the Nzema East Municipal Security Council that saw the burning of 14 Chanfang machines as well as a platform on the river they operated on, the MCE, Dorcas Elizabeth Asamoah said the pollution has become a source of concern to communities along the river who depend on the river for water.
“We have had a series of competition from the Dwira area along the Ankobra River on how it is being polluted. So we couldn't just look on as it is affecting livelihoods. As a result of that, the Municipal Security Council together with other stakeholders embarked on a swoop on the river around 10am to about 3pm to get those who were operating with Chanfang on the river. They managed to get 14 of their Chanfang which they burnt.”
“They also had a very huge platform on the river they operated on which was also burnt to scare them off. It takes a lot of money to build the platforms and when they are destroyed, it is difficult to immediately get one to comeback. So we are sure it will take some time for them to build it again to go back to pollute the river“, she said.
Madam Dorcas Elizabeth Asamoah further told Citi News the fight against the continuous pollution of the Ankobra River cannot be won without collaborative efforts from adjoining assemblies.
“This is not going to be a one-off swoop because we are going to embark on such operations on frequent basis. However, our problem is that River Ankobra stretches across many districts to Sefwi, Prestea and others. So we must be able to tackle this problem holistically as a team to arrest the situation once and for all,” she added.
The Axim Divisional Police Commander, ACP Francis Kwame Tsidi who led his team to burn chanfang machines and a platform on which the illegal small scale gold miners operated told Citi News the pollution of the Pra river is making life unbearable for communities along the river hence their determination to intensify the swoops.