Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ellembelle constituency in the Western Region who is also a member of the Energy and Mines Committee of Ghana’s Parliament has paid a surprised visit to the illegal mining (Galamsey) site at Ankasa-Ewereko community in the Ellembelle North of his constituency.
The MP, who had a tip-off of the ongoing illegal mining activities in that area and decided to go there by himself to ascertain the truth behind it got to the place on Wednesday, 13th April 2022 around 8:25 am.
He was accompanied by the Assembly Member for the Kwasikrom Electoral area Mr Ishawu Mussah, some community members whose land has been taken and other media men including his personal aid.
Upon reaching the place, about ten men were seen at the site some of whom were elders of the community including a Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwakye who initially didn’t want to welcome the MP’s entourage.
They later realized his mission to the area after the MP had introduced his purpose for coming up with a request to speak with the leader.
The leader who declined to mention his name mentioned the company working at the site as Perkinspact Light Scale Mining and said they were there to do prospecting which has got the backing from the District Assembly, the chiefs of Aiyinasi and Basake to undertake those activities.
He, therefore, led the MP and his entourage to the main site where the mining was taking place upon request by the legislature.
Mr Armah Buah told the workers on-site that his visit bothers on the two most critical issues such as how the Rivers that the people drink wouldn’t be destroyed and how to safeguard their cocoa farms against such menace.
He asked the leader if they had engaged the community and the cocoa farmers before going ahead with the project to which he answered no due to the fact that the people have the perception that they were coming to destroy their farms and water bodies.
The MP further engaged the cocoa farmers and asked the Assembly Member to give him more briefings as to how they have engaged them all this while.
The Assembly Member, Ishawu Mussah, however, stated that he has engaged the Odikro and the farmers on three occasions only to later find out that the Aiyinasi and Basake chiefs had sent elders to come to meet with the miners to pour libations for their stay there.
Mr Armah Buah, however, advised them to be careful with illegal mining activities because it was a canker that could destroy their lands and farms very soon and expressed concerns about the plight of school children in the community and the adverse effects on their education if care was not taken.
Speaking to some aggrieved farmers, the MP assured them that the information he has gathered will be attended to when he returns to his office and asked the farmers to be calm as he engaged the various stakeholders mentioned in the mining authorization as a Member of the Energy and Mines Committee to get to the bottom of the issues.
According to him, he needed to know much about the company’s authorization so as to deal with it through the appropriate channels.
Illegal mining activities are now taking over the Ellembelle constituency even though President Akufo-Addo had promised to stop their activities.
Meanwhile, perpetrators get their so-called permits from the District Assemblies including that of the Ellembelle District Assembly.
Story: Karim Ayebillah Alex / igoghana