An impending water crisis is threatening Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, due to the suspected invasion of forest reserves by illegal miners (known as galamseyers) who are just a few meters away from the Barekese Dam.
People in Fufuo, a town in the Atwima Nwabiagya North constituency, are upset because they fear that illegal miners would severely damage one of the key dams that supplies drinking water to the area if they are not stopped.
On Thursday, December 22, 2022, an opinion leader in Fofuo named Mr. Kwabena Nyankomago Ahenkan told this reporter that illegal miners had arrived with excavators approximately a month before to apparently dig for gold.
After initial resistance from locals, he said, the galamseyers and several Chinese nationals hid the equipment in the woods and have since returned to participate in illegal mining.
He lamented the disastrous consequences the miners’ operations would have on the Barekese Dam.
Siltation and other kinds of pollution caused by sand winning, illegal tree chopping, farming, and new human settlements have decreased the dam’s ability to provide its full daily 30 million gallons of water.
“Officials of Ghana Water Company Limited recently informed us that, Barekese dam which currently produces 30 million gallons of treated water daily as opposed to the maximum of 48 million gallons is on the verge of extinction,” he lamented, explaining why his group is so strongly opposed to the miners.
Some local farmers also claimed that illicit miners had used excavators to ruin their property.
Although they were unhappy with the galamsey activities, they did remark that the Chinese nationals who brought the equipment had pledged to reimburse them.
Those involved pleaded with local authorities to take immediate action.