By Gifty Arthur
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has been challenged to show concern by letting go his annual salary, so it could be used to provide clean drinking water for his people at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
A group of farmers within the area, are making this passionate appeal to the President, as they claim the devastating effect of illegal mining, has destroyed the source of drinking water for the people.
Part of the money if granted, according to the farmers, will be used to construct boreholes for the town folks, who are mainly cocoa farmers.
The group, Concerned Farmers Association of Ghana, said the people of Kyebi and its environs, are in droves dying as a result of drinking from this contaminated water.
“Nana Akufo Addo, don’t take your money, your salary for this year don’t take it, give it to us the concerned farmers, to make sure that we put up boreholes and other things for the farming community, because in your hometown Kyebi, people are dying”, the farmers alleged.
Speaking to The Herald, President of the Association, Nana Oboadie Opambour Boateng Bonsu II, said the people who have become helpless, have no one to speak for them as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South, who doubles as Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has closed his eyes to the issue.
He said, “Nobody cares not even the MP Atta Akyea and others they don’t care for the people and majority of the people there are cocoa farmers and their livelihood has been from them because of the galamsey is happening”
This paper was informed chemicals used to operate this mining activity popularly called galamsey, pollute the water sources and destroy the lands completely. Crops, which are grown on such lands, end up affected by these chemicals, making it very dangerous to consume.
Nana Boateng Bonsu, said it was not true the claim by government that it is fighting illegal mining.
He said, the menace which has the potential to destroy all of Ghana’s water bodies, is still on-going in the area, despite the formation of Operation Vanguard to combat the activity.
“The galamsey they said they are fighting is a lie, people are doing the galamsey”.
He said, the rest of the money would be used to rear animals since now, the farmers, have had their cocoa farms taken from them, because of the illegal mining.
“I went and there and I spoke to them and they told me they want to rear animal that is rabbit and other things….
So we want to tell Nana Addo, he should not take his salary for the whole year, he should not take it, he should give it to us, the concerned farmers to help the people to get better jobs and better training to stop the galamasey”, the association’s president said.
It will be recalled that few years ago; the erstwhile Mahama government, provided a water treatment plant for the area, which brought a big relief to the people of Kyebi at a very expensive cost.
However, few months after the operation of the plant, it was shut down, because of the manner in which the water which was being treated for safe drinking, was being polluted.