Galamsey polluting Ankobra river, poisoning locals – Environmentalist

  Tue, 16 Apr 2024
Science Galamsey polluting Ankobra river, poisoning locals – Environmentalist

Madam Elizabeth Aluva Vaah, the Convener of the Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group, has sounded a distressing alarm about the state of river bodies in the Western Region and beyond, attributing the degradation to illegal mining activities, colloquially known as “Galamsey.”

In an interview with Bernard Avle on The Point of View on Citi TV, Vaah voiced her worries about the worsening condition of the Ankobra River at Wiaso.

She warned that individuals relying on the river for their daily needs are in danger of poisoning.

“Now it’s not just the major rivers that have been destroyed…Might rivers like Tano, Birim, Ankobra, Pra, Offin have all been destroyed. Subilah, the stream captured in Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s biography stinks. We’ve got to a point where we’re being poisoned.”

“Everybody who relies on Ankobra River is being poisoned, all of us. We’ve gotten to a point where either we do something, and we give ultimatums and bring the issues right to the doorsteps of our Nananom or we just watch ourselves poisoned to death.”

The Convener of the Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group highlighted the poisonous nature of the Ankobra River over the past 5 years due to the use of hazardous chemicals by illegal miners.

“In the last 5 years, the Ankobra river has been getting dirtier by the day…Children go there to swim, and we’re destroying the childhood of these kids and killing them in the process. Not only is the Ankobra river dirty, it’s also very poisonous, led mercury, cyanide, you see different mining companies dropping their garbage into it.”

Vaah, leading the Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group, underscored the toxic state of the Ankobra River over the past five years, attributing it to the use of dangerous chemicals by illegal miners.

“Right now, in Ayinase, in Ellembelle, the only river left in the entire district, called Amanzule, which goes all the way to Nzulezo, and even that one is threatened because a place has been given as a mining concession. They have dug a dam, as soon as there’s a little bit of rain, it goes into the river Fian, which serves thousands of indigenes,” she lamented.

She called for immediate action to halt illegal mining activities and called for a change in people's attitudes towards the environment.