River Pra is believed to have been contaminated with mercury as a result of illegal mining in the river at Bassa and Antwebesa, near Daboase, in the Western Region.
It is suspected that residents of communities situated along the course of the river are being exposed to dangerously high levels of mercury, which is used by miners to extract gold from alluvial deposits found in the soil of the riverbanks.
Mr. Stephen Piedu, the Principal Inspector of Mines, disclosed this to the media when a joint team of police and military men inspected the scene at the weekend to asses the extent of harm caused.
Mr. Piedu said that the illegal (or so-called “galamsey”) miners had been dredging alluvial gold from the River Pra, which is also the source of water for the people of the area and Takoradi.
He added that, “the activities of these illegal miners are a major headache to the District Assembly”.