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Galamsey could force closure of 3 treatment dams - Ministry

Aug. 29, 2016, 9:57 a.m.

Millions of Ghanaians could lose access to treated water due to the impending closure of three major water treatment dams due to the activities of illegal mining, according to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing
The dams in question are the Barekese dam, the Kyebi Treatment plant and the Daboase water treatment plant.

The effects of the activities of galamsey operators around the plants have compelled management of these plants to shut down the dams to prevent it from total collapse.

Speaking to Citi News, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Abraham Otabil, lamented that the activities of these illegal miners is making it difficult for the various plants to operate.

“The activities of galamsey operators have become a source of worry. As soon as the Minister visits the site, then these operators run into the bush; but whenever we return to our various offices, these guys come back to operate,” he said.

He confirmed that the Kibi water treatment plant “is giving an indication that within the next few days, if nothing is done, the treatment plant will be shut down.”

“As we speak now, Barekese in the Ashanti Region is being threatened seriously. We are looking at the Daboase Plant which is also seriously under siege by these galamsey operators,” Mr. Otabil lamented.

Farmlands also suffering effects of galamsey

Illegal miners are reported to have destroyed large swathes of cocoa farms at Bepotenten and Gyamang, two farming communities in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region.

The levels of devastation have resulted in some residents abandoning their farming activities and relocating their families to other communities to prevent them from falling into the open gullies dug by the illegal miners.

A Chinese woman, identified as Madam Asia Huang, is said to be the lead operator, working with some Ghanaian collaborators.The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has since commenced investigations into the alleged illegal mining activities.