Compiled by Kwesi Alfred Adams .
It is evidently clear that the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (ICIM) is steadily achieving the much-anticipated results, considering how most rivers and streams which were hitherto polluted in the region are regaining their natural colour and beauty.
River Ankobra, which lies in the Nzema enclave, is a clear example of one of the many rivers which has regained its natural colour as a result of the work of the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining.
The Ankobra River had become brownish in colour, muddy, highly polluted with mercury and other chemicals, making it unsafe for use by indigenes.
A visit by some journalists to Ankobra, a community in the Ellembelle District, revealed clear signs that the Ankobra River was regaining its natural ecology.
This success story has led to residents who are direct users of the river jubilating.
The residents say the river was now friendly to their major occupation, which is fishing, with others now using it in their homes for drinking and other purposes.
“The river has been very clean for some weeks now, we are very happy, as we can now go fishing and come back home with a lot of catch, we attribute this achievement in the President’s will in fighting the galamsey menace, which was being done in the river. We hope the fight continues; we can now use it for cooking and other house chores.”
A resident, Emmanuel Ackerson, a fisherman, told the reporters that the river was not good at all previously, “but since the galamsey fight begun, the river is very clean now. We now get fish, so we thank the government for this achievement.”
The upsurge in illegal small scale mining in the country over a decade led to illegal miners, including foreign nationals, invading our major water bodies, resulting in a serious environmental threat to Ghana’s water resources.
The heavy pollution affected the supply of potable water, as water treatment became difficult for the Ghana Water Company Limited, which led to the shutdown of many of its treatment plants. For residents of Sekondi Takoradi, the shutdown of treatment plants led to water rationing.
A toll booth attendant on the Ankobra River, Emmanuel Ayisi, was full of joy, as, according to him, Ghana Water Company limited can now pump some clean water for its consumers
“The river now is very clean. Formerly, it was too dirty in terms of people (Illegal Miners) working at the top, now they stopped working at the top so the water is clean. Ghana Water Company can now give us some clean water to drink,” he noted.
The Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Mr. Charles Bissue, on his part, indicated that some other major water bodies in the country would soon witness similar achievements.