The activities of illegal small-scale miners (galamseyers) in the town of Beposo in the Bosome Freho district of the Ashanti Region have resulted in the death of 25 pigs belonging to one Joseph Owusu.
Through their illegal mining activities, Mr Owusu explained, the galamseyers have polluted a nearby water source, River Banku, which serves domestic and commercial purposes, with poisonous chemicals.
According to Mr Owusu, the pigs died after the caretakers of his piggery fetched water from the poisoned river for the animals.
He also noted that farmers have had to rely on a nearby borehole to irrigate their farms because they cannot use the polluted river to water the crops.
“This is what is happening here in the Bosome Freho District. The galamaseyers have polluted the river here and, so, we cannot use it for anything.
“My 25 pigs have all died because we fetched water from the river that we didn’t know had been polluted with dangerous chemicals, and gave to the animals to drink. I spent GH50,000 on the farm,” he told ClassFMonline.com.
He further revealed that he reported the matter to the District Chief Executive of the area, Mr Yaw Danso, who later sent his officials as well as experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ascertain the report.
“But when the EPA officials came, they didn’t give me their repor; they only said the issue of galamsey is beyond them, so, I should deal directly with the local authority, which is the assemblyman and the DCE’s office.
“I went to the DCE to find out what was happening but he has not given me any feedback yet,” he said.
In an interview with ClassFMonline.com, the DCE confirmed that he received a report from Mr Joseph Owusu and, accordingly instructed the Operation Vanguard team to take up the matter.
The team, he said, confirmed that, indeed, there were some ongoing activities of some illegal small-scale miners but they fled upon sensing the presence of the team.
Following that, he said, he directed Mr Owusu to report the matter to the police for investigations but that has not been done.
“Yes, it is true that he reported this matter to me. But I informed the Operation Vanguard [team] to take up the matter. There was also a team of environmental experts from the EPA who supported the Vanguards to help him out but he hasn’t done that.
“The Vanguard team reported to me that although there were some galamsey activities ongoing, the galamseyers had left the place. They further went to inspect where the pig farm is to ascertain whether the animals were there but the team said they could not find a single pig.
“That was when I asked him to report to the police for proper investigations to be done but he has not done so.
“I also told him to inform the chief of the area about it but he seems not to be trusting the chief to help him out. So, what more can I do? All that he wants is for the Assembly to compensate him but that is not how compensations are done.”