The Asutifi South District Assembly received a complaint by some farmers at Hwidiem that the activities of the workers of the community mine site at Woramuso, within the Asutifi North District were having adverse effects on them. The report alleged that the miners release some chemicals into the river that flows into Tano. This according to the complaint has led to pollution of the river which has impacted negatively on their crop yield and their general livelihood that depends greatly on the river.

A joint DISEC meeting was held Tuesday, 27th September, 2022, at Asutifi South District Assembly Hall between Asutifi North District Assembly and Asutifi South District Assembly to look at the emerging issues.

Members of the District Security Councils of both Districts met on 27th September, 2022 to deliberate on the issues. The meeting commenced at 9:45 am with an opening prayer by the fire officer of Asutifi South District Assembly.

The District Chief Executive of Asutifi South District Assembly welcomed members from both sides and other invitees in attendance to the meeting. He briefed members on the complaint that the Assembly received from some farmers of the community regarding a possible pollution of the Tano River as a result of the activities of the community miners at Woramuso. According to him, the farmers indicated that the color of the river has changed, there has been reduction in the yield of their crops among others. He again mentioned that the earlier decision of the Assembly was to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to visit the mining site to see how the mining was being carried out.

Upon deliberations, the meeting decided to visit the community mining site and see things for themselves.

The meeting was adjourned for the house to visit the site.

A team made up of DISEC members, extended security personnel, officials from EPA among others took a very long walk to the community mining site. At the site the following discoveries were made:

  • There was no evidence of the miners using any chemicals in their mining activities
  • The management of waste system put in place by the miners was not adequate since any overflow could cause spillage into the river

A deeper walk into the forest by the team has also led to the discovery of an illegal mining site with the miners not on site. There were also evidence of pesticides, insectides and weedicides being used with the empty containers being through into drains that could easily have rain water wash them into the river.

The meeting resumed after a two hour visit to the community mining site and a tour of the forest.

The DCE of Asutifi North District Assembly welcomed the members back and asked for their comments to inform the decisions of the house.

After deliberations, the following decisions were taken by the meeting:

  • Though there were no evidence of chemicals being used by the community miners at site, the possibility of their activities contributing to the pollution of the river could not be ruled out since their waste management system was not adequate and hence, they should put measures in place to improve upon it
  • The alluvial mining system being employed by the community miners close to a source of water body was not the best and hence, EPA was to get on board to help them with the appropriate techniques
  • The possibility of illegal miners also contributing to pollution of the water could not be ruled out. A decision was taken for another meeting to be held on 4th October, 2022. All stakeholders including the traditional authorities and those involved in these illegal mining activities will be invited. The illegal miners would be taken through the processes of getting themselves organized to regroup into responsible community mining groups
  • After the 4th October, 2022 meeting, the security services should be supported with logistics to embark on operations to flush out illegal miners in the forest.

Proceedings came to an end at 15:05 with the meeting being adjourned to 4th September, 2022.

Posted in Agriculture, News.