Activities of illegal miners have led to the shutdown of the Ghana Water Company treatment plant at Kyebi in the East Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region.
The treatment plant which takes water from the Birim River which flows from the Atewa Forest to be treated and supplied for both domestic and residential usage, has been badly affected by the activities of galamsey operators who mine gold in the lands and forest of Kyebi.
[contextly_sidebar id=”OGxJ5JimbHF3jxsNvUDcdgIHOK3tstSz”]When Citi News visited the place to assess the extent of damage, students who were supposed to be in school were seen with bowls and bucket queuing at a borehole to fetch water.
It is understood that the borehole situated close to the Presbyterian church is now the only source of water supply to the entire Kyebi community where people from far away communities hire taxi cabs to come and fetch water with gallons.
In an interview with Citi News, Honery Ametekpey, the Municipal water company manager at Kyebi, revealed that their decision to shut down the water treatment plant was due to the uncontrollable effects the activities of galamsey operators is having on their operations as it is harming the efficiency of their machines.
He said “for the past one month, we have not been able to supply the people of Kyebi with potable water, the activities of galamsey operators have rendered our work useless in this municipality. Before we treat the water, we look at the turbidity of the water you are going to treat, the maximum we are supposed to treat is 200, but as at today, it is 4,600, we tried treatment when it was around 1000, but now it has gone overboard because of the activities of the galamsey operators.”
He added that, the people of Kyebi are now struggling because they cannot get good water to use for their daily lives.
“My great concern is with the two secondary schools here, I went this morning to access the situation and to speak to the headmistress on how we can help, but I found out that students had queued in their uniforms fetching water during classes hours.”
Mr. Ametekpey thus called on all stakeholders to be involved in fighting galamsey.
“This situation can be worsened in a short time, for us to make a headway, the government should assemble a huge number of military personnel to come and take charge of this area for one month to clamp down on galamsey operators and I believe this will help us.”
By: Neil Nii Amatey Kanarku/citifmonline.com/Ghana