Story: Kofi Michel & Ernest Adu
‘Galamsey’ at Heman in Fanteakwa South District, Eastern Region is venomous; even more than the global Coronavirus contagion, as their only source of water River Akrasu turns mining pit.
Residents told our news team led by Kofi Michel they have no source of water in Hemang and catchment areas, other than the Akrasu River.
The river serves the Dome, Gyampomani and Hemang townships. The activities of illegal miners in and around the River has totally brought the water resource to a complete destruction.
It is difficult for one to differentiate between a cup of milo tea and a cup of water from River Akrasu when we toured the banks of the river.
The colour of River Akrasu would make it hard for students to accept the characteristic of water (H2O); that water is colourless, as galamseyers have been able to change water colour to brown.
Assemblyman for the Area, Hon. Johnson Appiah lamented the situation was becoming intolerable for residents who struggle on daily basis to access good and portable drinking water.
He said much was needed to arrest activities of illegal mining at Hemang so as to sustain the river bodies and improve the health of the people, “water is life just as health is wealth.”
According to Hon Appiah, “it is unfortunate that Akrasu River which is a major source of drinking water in Fanteakwa South District will eventually desiccate because of few people’s interest over thousands’.”
He advised all streams that are major sources of drinking water all year round for the people must be protected.
The Assemblyman added Government must step up its efforts to clamp down on illegal mining activities.
A resident (name withheld) told Kofi Michel, “we shall blame galamsey activities of Government and our chiefs for sitting unconcerned to our plight.
If anyone can do anything here on our land, it is our chiefs who give them the go-ahead and it is government who issues concession permits.
They must therefore take full responsibility of what is happening at Hemang and River Akrasu.”
He observed for the past ten (10) years Hemang, Gyampomani and Dome have never experienced their rivers and streams dry. The situation is making life unbearable for the people who find it difficult to get water for drinking and for cooking.
The resident indicated that attempts by the District Chief Executive to ensure that the activities of illegal miners are stopped remain futile.
They pleaded with government to come to their aid immediately. They told our team, “NO PORTABLE WATER! NO VOTE!!
This Paper has gathered that some chiefs in the Fanteakwa District are the managers of some of these galamseyers and has protected their activities all these times and sat ‘standoffish’ to the ongoing situation.
We promise to give you more on the matter and make sure Akrasu River is restored.