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Regional News Thu, 9 Apr 2020

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Galamsey activities bounce back? - Nkroful youth quizzes Akufo-Addo

Correspondence from Western region

The angry youth of Nkroful, the hometown of the first President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in Ellembelle District of the Western Region are demanding quick response from President Akufo-Addo as to whether the illegal mining (galamsey activities) have resumed or not.

According to them, galamsey activities have resurrected at Nkroful, birth and final burial place of Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah which has become a tourist site with the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum, Nkrumah motel, state burial of Dr. Nkrumah's mother, Maame Nyaniba, the mythical tale of the Subre River.

The bone of contention now is the River Subre which is now at the mercy of galamsey operations.

Myth has it that during his days as President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah made the River Subri "swell' just by pouring libation any time the Subre River was drying up.

Another myth has it that while a toddler and saddled behind his mother, Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah told his mother as they crossed the River that she had stepped on a fish,a revelation, which according to local tradition, turned out to be true.

Contrary to expectations this historic Subre River which is also the main source of drinking water to three communities namely, Anwia Teleku-Bokazo and Nkroful is now at the mercy of galamsey activities in the area.

Upon assumption of office, President Akufo-Addo declared war on galamsey whether by locals or foreigners to save the environment from degradation.

President Akufo-Addo, however set up Operational Vanguard and other Committees to monitor the activities of galamsey across Western, Western North, Ashanti, Central and Eastern Regions.

In an interview with GhanaWeb's Western Regional Correspondent, the leader of the irate youth, Daniel Johnny alias DJ bemoaned how the Galamseyers have polluted their water body and degraded their land.

He doesn't understand why the President had banned galamsey activities in the country but some people were doing it at Nkroful.

"I want to ask President Akufo-Addo that whether he has given us go ahead to do galamsey or alluvial mining or not and if he lifted the ban on illegal mining then he should tell us to do it", he demanded.

He said what is happening at Nkroful was very bad and stated it seems some selfish people were trying to destroy their environment.

"Napoleon Bonaparte says, "the world is suffering a lot not because of the violence of the wicked people but because of the silence of the people", what is going on here is very bad and we are inviting our chiefs, MP and DCE to come to look at what is happening here and it seems some two people because of their stomach they don't care to destroy our land and if the rain starts right now what will happen in Nkroful township it will not be easy at all", he fumed.

"Right now we are on the land of Nkroful Agricultural Senior High School and here is also the cemetery of Teleku Bokazo and because of galamsey, they have destroyed some tombs. What is happening here is very bad so we are inviting all people who have a say in the development of Ellembelle should come to our aid, we are inviting Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli to fight for us because it seems nobody is willing to stop the galamsey activities and we don't know who is behind the galamsey activities here".

He disclosed that the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area Hon. Kwasi Bonzoh who is the Chairman of the District Security Council visited the site to stop them but according to him, those Galamseyers returned to site in two days time to continue their illegal mining.

"Hon DCE came here to stop the galamsey activities but within two days time the Galamseyers returned to site, so right now we don't know where to send our case to, we are now fed up, the street is fed up, the street of Nkroful is fed up, we are not going to sit aloof because if the rain starts today it is we the residents of Nkroful who are going to suffer, the people who are working here are all strangers and if anything they will run away to their hometowns", he stated.

He, therefore, debunked some excuses giving out by the Galamseyers that they were doing reclamation of the land.

"they are they are doing reclamation but if you come you will see that they are doing galamsey".

"What is happening here in Nkroful, we the youth we don't like it because the only water body which serves as a tourist attraction, we can't recognize it, they have polluted it so what we are saying is that should stop it and make our water body clean", they stressed.

Asking whether the DCE is aware of the illegal mining in the area, he said the DCE is aware of the operations.

"We have informed our Chief and his Elders, the DCE is aware so they are aware", he said.

"If they don't stop, we are going to suffer a lot when the rain starts".

He, therefore, calling on their Member of Parliament, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah to channel their grievances before Ghana's Parliament.

He reminded the MP of the heavy downpour that destroyed many properties in the area in 2009 that they want similar to happen this year as a result of the illegal mining.

He is also calling on the Eastern Nzema Traditional Council through its President, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III to visit the site and see what was happening on the land of the Secondary School in the area and their main water body (Subre).

The angry youth, however, chanted, "No more alluvial, no more alluvial, away, away, we are not afraid of anybody, this is the hometown of Kwame Nkrumah so will not allow anybody to mine here".

Speaking to the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh, he promised to stop the illegal mining in the area and other Communities.

He said he had informed the security officers to arrest those Galamseyers.

He vowed not to sit down unconcerned to allow some people to degrade land in the area.

He, therefore, seized the opportunity to confirm that he led a joint security taskforce to arrest the governing New Patriotic Party Organiser of Evalue-Ajomoro Gwira, Mr. Eric Essien and his accomplice, Seidu Tahiru who were engaging in illegal mining at Anwia last week.

These people were sent to Nkroful Magistrate Court for prosecution. The court had adjourned the case to April 27, 2020.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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