The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has bemoaned the resurgence of illegal mining activities aka galamsey on Rivers Offin and Pra and its threat to the Secondi-Takoradi Water Supply Rehabilitation and Expansion Project.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament during a debate on a loan agreement for the Project, the Majority Leader demanded urgent steps from the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to halt mining activities on Rivers Pra and Offin.
“I will strongly urge the Minister for Water Resources to have second look and… we have to be much more determined to stop mining operations in both the Offin and Pra River so the integrity of the waters can be attested to.”
“Other than that Mr. Speaker, I am afraid of this venture,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu warned.
Parliament on Tuesday approved two separate loans of over € 81 million to finance the Secondi-Takoradi Water Supply Rehabilitation and Expansion Project.
The loans are an Oeke-Backed agreement amounting to € 70,733,432 and commercial loan amounting to € 10,500,000 between Ghana represented by Ministry of Finance and Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft.
The credit facility is to secure funding for the implementation of the project, which includes; the construction of an intake, a new water treatment plant with its ancillary structure, transmission and distribution pipelines, service reservoirs, standpipes and house connection.
The beneficiary communities include: Takoradi, Effiakuma, KwesimintsimKojokrom, West Tanokrom, Anaji, Sekondi, New Takoradi, Essikado, Apremdo, Keikum, Ntankoful, Ngyyiresia, East Tanokrom, Effia Village and Fijai.
The project is expected to be completed in 40 months after commencement.
The Pra and Offin rivers are among the worst hit by illegal mining activities.
Despite earlier aggression in 2017 from the Akufo-Addo administration to end the illegal mining, the country has made minimal gains on that front.
As recently as July 2020, the Anti-Illegal Mining Taskforce Operation Vanguard confiscated and destroyed some mining equipment belonging to illegal miners at Dunkwa On-Offin in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality in the Central Region.
Files from GNA contributed to this report