Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chinese operating Galamsey

The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) have said Chinese are engaged in illegal gold mining (galamsey) in the area and have degraded many communities in the Wassa Amenfi District.Communities such as Saamang, Adansi, Konkorso and Dikoto have been degraded by the Chinese and according to the Wassa Amenfi East District Chief Executive, Mr Steven Badu Acheampong, the Chinese have no permit to operate.He told newsmen that the issue had been reported to the District Security Council (DISEC) and meetings had been held with the Chinese but so far nothing fruitful had come out of it.Mr. Acheampong said the Chinese claimed they were led by one Eric Coffie and together with some of the chiefs in the area paid compensation before starting their operation.He said he had asked the Chinese to stop mining and meet the assembly for the necessary arrangements and laws to be made. As to whether they have stopped or not, Mr. Acheampong said he is waiting for DISEC to inform him.Mr Eric Coffie, who claims to be Secretary of the National Small-Scale Miners Association, denied bringing the Chinese to the area but admitted leading them to the Adansi Chief, Nana Kojo Dwamena's palace where money and other items were taken from them to facilitate mining in the area.Visit to the four communities - Adansi, Dikoto, Konkorso and Saamang - revealed pollution of the only source of drinking water and destruction of their roads by the heavy duty trucks.Mr Kwesi Akan, whose cocoa farm was destroyed without compensation, told journalists that the Chinese refused to pay because according to them they had paid everything to the chiefs.He said he is jobless now since his only source of livelihood had been taken away from him. Other villagers shared the same sentiment. The illegal Chinese miners are still living in a house given them by the Dikoto chief.
Source:GNA

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