Business News of Thursday, 11 April 2013
Small to medium scale mining of a special type of stone said to be limestone on the Klefe side of the Kabakaba Hill overlooking Ho is gradually becoming a large scale business.
A source from the Klefe community told the Ghana News Agency that early this year, some Japanese allegedly brought excavators to the site and teamed up with some locals to dig up the stones used for building, decoration of houses and for strengthening drains against erosion. The source who took the GNA to one of the excavated sites said the Japanese left the town two-weeks ago perhaps for the Easter break and might return.
The excavation has created wide, long and deep dugouts filled with rain water. Officers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who were also at the site, said the uncoordinated excavation of limestone on the earthquake belt could be disastrous. Mr Oppong Darkwa, Principal Programme Officer of the EPA said excavating the foot of the Hill could make any future earthquake or tremor serious.
He was also worried that sustainable agriculture could also suffer adversely in the predominantly farming community. Mr Darkwa explained that the depth of the trenches created by the excavation and the destruction of the top soil would affect plant growth in the area, especially the cocoa plantations.
He said the Hill was also losing its beauty as a result of the excavation. On the contrary, Mr Martin Kpetigo, Volta Regional Director of the Geological Survey Department said there was “no cause for alarm.”
He explained that big trees on the Hill would hold and contain rolling rocks, should there be any tremor or earthquake and encouraged people living down the Hill to plant trees. Mr Kpetigo urged the Ho Municipal Assembly to coordinate the activities of the excavators to create jobs for the youth.
Mr Edward A. Gidiglo, Ho Municipal Coordinating Director said the Assembly had formed a committee to investigate mining activities at the site. He said the Assembly had not given any operational permit to anyone to work there and that the presence of the Japanese and the entire mining activity were being looked into.