Illegal miners at Patriensa near Konongo in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality have largely ignored the government’s order to stop the destructive activity.
To them, “it is business as usual” and there has been no let-up in the illicit operation, popularly referred to as “galamsey”.
Residents of the town, who confirmed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal attacks by the miners, said the only change “is that the mining, this time is done in the night”. The sound from the engines of the excavators used to dig for the gold, they indicated could routinely be heard coming from the forest, every night.
“The miners have continued to pollute the Owere River and destroy the environment.”
They accused some influential people in the area including chiefs of being behind what was happening in the community.
They therefore called for the appropriate state institutions to act firmly and swiftly to stop and unmasked those behind the illegal activity.
They claimed that two children aged between 10 and 12 years had within the past two years been trapped to death in uncovered mine pits left abandoned by the miners.