After flying in a helicopter to ascertain for himself the extent of damage caused to the land and water bodies of Akyem-Abuakwa by activities of illegal miners, otherwise known as ‘galamsayers’, President John Dramani Mahama has tagged the area as the headquarters of illegal mining in the country.
‘’I flew all the way to this place and when you monitor the extent of damage caused to the land and our water you will feel sorry for yourselves.’’
President Mahama who expressed shock at what he saw when he flew to Kyebi from the Affram Plains district said the activities of the illegal miners was an impediment to efforts to protect water bodies.
‘’Hitherto you could drink from the Birim river, nowadays anyone who dares drink the Birim risks losing his life’’.
Commissioning a £75 million 5-town water project in Kyebi in the Eastern Region to end his two day tour of the region, Mr.Mahama disclosed that because the Birim River had been heavily polluted officials of Ghana Water Company use excess chemicals in treating the Birim River before consumption.
‘’Because the Birim is heavily polluted we use four times more alum to treat the Kyebi water than what we use in treating water in other surrounding towns including Apedwa, Kwabeng, Anyinam and Osenasi before we can send it out for consumption.’’
The president urged aspiring and current smallscale miners in the area to resort to the right channels.
‘’We must protect what God gave us so that generations after us will not regret” , he admonished.
The President also commissioned several projects including a maternity block in the area.