Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Nzema East in the Western Region Dorcas Amoah has vowed to vigorously pursue illegal miners until such a time none is left in the municipality.
Her resolve comes on the heels of the arrest of four Chinese illegal miners and one Ghanaian accomplice at Bamianko near the community 42.
The four Chinese and their Ghanaian accomplice were arrested by an operation led by the Nzema East MCE Dorcas Amoah and other members of the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC).
The arrested illegal miners are Li Hung Zhi, Bao Lin, Qianxi Uuana, Zhang Xia and Kweku Zack.
The illegal miners had managed to clear large tracts of arable cocoa farmlands in a forest at Bamianko close to the 42 community. Two tributaries of the Ankobra River had also been heavily polluted by their activities.
The team confiscated four excavators, 2 pump action guns, 1 locally manufactured rifle, a cache of live ammunition, 1 Changfan and other items.
Madam Dorcas Amoah is worried that despite the ban on the activity some “unpatriotic” Ghanaians are aiding foreigners to mine and destroy the environment.
“How is it possible that despite the number of caution and announcements, people still have the effrontery to be engaging in illegal mining? What worries me the most is how our own people find it convenient to collaborate with foreigners on this destruction spree. It is very sad. But I make a solemn promise that we will not rest. If it means going after them every day, than that it exactly what we will do.”
She explained that large tracts of cocoa farms and water bodies are being destroyed at an alarming rate in the municipality and fears of difficult times for residents if something drastic is not done immediately.
“The major economic activity in the north of the municipality is farming. Many of the residents’ livelihood is so heavily tied to cocoa farming. Unfortunately, these illegal miners are destroying the cocoa farms. So imagine what will happen to the residents eventually if they continue to lose their livelihood? You should also see what is happening to water bodies around. Now, the farmers tell me they are not able to use them due to the heavy pollution.”
Dorcas Amoah continued: “The talk is over. Now there will be non-stop action. We will pursue them wherever they are till the last one leaves.”
The seized items have been sent to the Axim Divisional Police Command. The four Chinese and their Ghanaian accomplice are currently in police custody.