Activities of small-scale illegal miners (galamseyers) in Ghana is destroying water sources in neighbouring Ivory Coast, Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has said.
The heart surgeon made the revelation on Tuesday, 4 April when he launched a media coalition against the galamsey menace in Accra.
“I was in Abidjan from Wednesday to Saturday for a conference and I was confronted with galamsey almost immediately on the effects that the galamsey in Ghana is having on Ivory Coast because River Bia enters Ivory Coast almost at the lower thirds. And Tano enters the Lagoon and it is polluting the Bia lagoon so they cannot even treat water in some of their treatment plants.”
“So they [Ivorians] took advantage of my presence to organise a press conference. I met the Minister of Environment and the Mining Minister and they asked me to speak to their people. I made it clear to them that we are very serious to stop galamsey and I was able to convince them that indeed we are serious.
“The good thing is that they always made reference to the good relationship between Ghana and Ivory Coast and especially between Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and the President of Ivory Coast,” Prof. Boateng said.
Ivory Coast’s semi-public water distribution company, SODECI, recently shut down its water treatment plant in the area because of the level of pollution in the Bia River which serves as a vital source of water for the residents of Bianouan in eastern Ivory Coast.