The Ankobeahene of Adadientem, near Kyebi in the Eastern Region, known in private life as Ernest Siaw, is being accused by the inhabitants in the town of reckless allocation of lands for "galamsey" activities.
A recent visit to the town by this reporter, afforded him the opportunity to interact with the residents as well as inspecting the negative impact of small scale mining activities on the lives of the people, water bodies and the environment in the communities.
For instance, land reclamation and land filling of huge pits created as a result of "galamsey" activities, have become death traps especially for school children, while many houses are on the verge of collapse as the illegal activities by the miners are being conducted directly into the foundation of many buildings in the town.
Some members of the community association (names withheld for security reasons), who spoke in an interview, said the whole town was living in a state of panic as the rainy season approaches as they fear that the houses affected by the activities of these galamsey operators could be washed away in the event of a heavy downpour.
The concerned residents queried how such illegal activities are allowed to go on, adding that the illegality has been happening in the full glare of the Kyebi Divisional Police Command.
They have therefore appealed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minerals Commission and the Eastern Regional Security Command, as well as the National Security to intervene and save human lives and properties that can be destroyed during the rainy season.
Mr Ernest Siaw (Nana Ankobeahene), who has been accused by Extra Gold Mining Limited of unlawfully encroaching on some mining concession and reallocating the lands to "galamsey" operators has been dragged to court.
Reacting to the matter, the Spokesperson for the Ankobeahene, Isaac Boama Darko, said they have sent a petition to the Minerals Commission and other relevant authorities asking that the mining license of Extra Gold be revoked.
Asked why such an action, he disclosed that the mining company has failed to respond to some of the community's needs after repeated assurances and promises including the construction of one kilometer road a bore-hole for the town.
Source: Nana Kwame, Freelance Journalist, Eastern Region/Ghana
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