The Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Ransford Sakyi, has called for bold and stringent measures to stop, what he said was the disturbing activities of illegal miners across the nation.
He said the menace was at “its abysmal level” and that this could have dire socio-economic and environmental consequences.
The negative effects of the unrestrained operations of those miners, he warned, could potentially harm the country’s future.
It was therefore important for the political leadership, traditional rulers, business and religious leaders, environmentalists and community members to work together to deal with the problem.
Mr Sakyi was speaking at a public hearing on the proposed tailings storage facility to be built by the Chirano Gold Mines at Etwebo-Akoti, in the Western Region.
It was organized by the EPA to brief people in the affected communities of the liquid waste disposal facility – to seek their views and concerns.
The forum was also to create awareness about possible effects and environmental impact and the mitigation measures to handle any potential threat.
It was attended by the chiefs and people from Chirano, Asawinso, Wiawso, Paboase, Etwebo, AKoti, Kwawkrom, Suraso and other nearby communities.
Mr Sakyi, who is the leader of the liaison group, supervising the design and development of the facility, said it was time all stood up against illegal mining in their communities.
He expressed disquiet about the situation where some influential personalities including chiefs, politicians, business executives, were actively involved in the illegality.
Dr. Kodua Dapaah, Director of Health and Safety at the Mine, said the key concern of the tailing was public safety.
Mindful of that, the company had taken adequate measures to prevent spillage into river bodies and the forest reserve in the area.
Dr. Dapaah said the soil which would be used to construct the facility had been enhanced with minerals and organic materials that could support plant growth after its closure.