PRESIDENT NANA Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, since assuming office, forcefully fought illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
Various stakeholders have met and and a number of measures, including combat operations against the illegal miners, put in place to save the country’s water bodies and preserve its forest.
So far, some souls have perished including that of Major Maxwell Adams Mahama at Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region. He was there to fight galamsey with his colleagues and was mistaken for armed robber and killed dastardly by some of the residents.
Government’s response was positive and for months appeared to be winning the fight against the illegal miners.
However, recent events suggest all is not well. The statement made by the Minister for Defense, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, on the floor of Parliament yesterday, is worthy of note.
According to the minister, “water treatment plants are in danger and the quality of water we have today – they are using six times the amount of alum they used to treat the water – that is what they are using to treat the water today (yesterday). People have deliberately decided that the best thing they want is money in their pockets and so will damage the water sources.”
His comments were in response to a statement made by the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, who had accused the military (Operations Vanguard) of unlawful act of burning down 14 tipper trucks, an excavator and motorbikes at Afa Yile in the Dalun Electoral Area, ostensibly to prevent people from polluting the Nawuni River which is a source of water supply to the Tamale Metropolis and its environs.
But, Mr Nitiwul defended the military, saying, “the team had been at the place five times in a bid to arrest the illegal miners but each time they went there, the people run away. They go back and even dig more. Each time they (military) go, the people run away.”
What this website is concerned about is the decision by the Ghana Water Company Limited to shutdown that treatment plant. The implication is obvious; water supply to the residents would be cut.
We think it is not fair for the residents to pay for the sins of a few illegal miners. Government should, therefore, ensure that the residents are not disadvantaged in its decisions.