Ghana Losing Galamsay War- Ghana Water Boss Suggests
The Ghana Water Company says the country is gradually losing the war on illegal small-scale mining despite chalking some success in the initial stages of the Operation Vanguard activities. Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Dr Clifford Abdallah has revealed his outfit is now beginning to spend as much money in treating water now as it did before the war on illegal mining popularly known as galamsay began.
According to him, before the galamsay activities, his outfit only spent 3 bags of aluminium sulphate to treat the water but that shot up to 12 bags in the wake of galamsay activities. Shortly after the galamsay war was declared, the company, he said, started using five bags of the aluminium sulphate to treat the water. But that has changed again. “As at yesterday, we are using ten bags of aluminium per day. What it means is that we are losing the fight against the galamsay menace. So the operation vanguard probably is not the way to go,” Dr Abdallah said at a programme to mark the World Water Day.
Shortly after being sworn into office in 2017, the Akufo-Addo led government declared war on illegal small-scale mining activities. Before the declaration of the war, rivers were polluted, the air fouled, environment degraded in a battle to get rich quick by young men, women who found illegal small-scale mining as their only source of livelihood.
As part of the war, illegal small-scale mining in all its forms was banned; perpetrators arrested and some prosecuted by an operation vanguard team made up of military and police personnel put together to protect the country’s resources.
After almost a year of the Operation Vanguard activities, the country’s water resources do not appear to be improving.
“Our water bodies are under threat,” Dr Abdalla said in his remark at the World Water Day programme held at Ngleshie Amanfro in Accra. Joy News’ Latif Iddrisu who was embedded in the operation vanguard activities has confirmed there is defiance by illegal miners most of whom are expatriates. According to him, some of the water bodies still remain polluted across the country.
As if to corroborate the assertions by the Ghana Water boss and the Joy News reporter, the head of the Operation Vanguard, Squadron Leader Omane Adjei told Joy News the Pra, Offin and Ankobra rivers still remain murky. He stated however that the task force is working zealously to bring these rivers into good shape. There has been some improvement in the Birim River, he stated.
Squadron Leader Omane Adjei said his outfit does have some resource constraints which they have communicated to the government to solve. He cited the drones, more vehicles which will enhance their work in protecting the river bodies.