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Some 16 excavators believed to be used by illegal miners in the wanton destruction and pollution of rivers bodies have been seized by the Western Regional Security Council.
The Security team made up of operation vanguard, Immigration, national security with support from the Amenfi West District stormed some illegal mining sites at Sameraboi in an anti-‘galamsey’ operation dubbed “Clean water.”
The operation forms part of President Akufo-Addo’s effort to clamp down on the activity.
Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah led the operation which saw the seizure of the earth machines used to mine in the Tano River.
Scenes of destruction and degradation were visible from miles away.
Abandoned pits and mining settlements are dotted the road leading into what is left of the once vast arable cocoa farm.
After navigating through the dangerous terrain of open pits filled with water, we arrived at the mining settlement directly on the River Tano.
The Tano River which runs through these cocoa farms has turned muddy with no sign of life.
Tanks and barrels filled with diesels were found on the site but the illegal miners were nowhere to be found as the taskforce believed someone had given them information of their coming.
The vast cocoa farm depicts scenes of cocoa tress cut and buried in mud.
The Western Regional Minister was devastated by the sight of the river and called on the Regional Security Council not to rest until all miscreants along water bodies in the Western Region are flushed out.
“What beats my mind is that this illegal operation they have been doing is close to the Tano river and look at how turbid it has become and when it goes all the way to the south it becomes difficult to control,” he said.
He charged the MMDCES to be committed to the fight against ‘galamsey’ to ensure sanity in the system.
The Minister pledged to continue to fight the menace to the end to ensure Ghanaians live in a peaceful environment and have portable water to drink.
Mr Darko-Mensah appealed to the chiefs to see themselves as the real partners in the ‘galamsey’ fight as they will be the first to be impacted by the devastation.
Meanwhile, Municipal Chief Executive for Amenfi West, George Agyiri assured they are going to arrest anyone connected to such illegalities.
He opined that they are going to begin a patrol on the Tano River to ensure that perpetrators face the law irrespective of their status.
The Western Region is most likely to battle acute water shortage if illegal mining continues on its water bodies as the Ghana Water Company Limited has already confirmed the difficulties they are encountering in providing potable water to residents.