Thursday, 18 April

Gov’t takes steps to resolve transboundary water pollution caused by illegal mining

General News
Participants at the meeting

The Government of Ghana has taken steps to resolve transboundary issues on river pollution regarding the Tano and Bia rivers which also flows through Ivorian waters.

To this end, the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, Sanitation and Water resources, Defence and Environment Science Technology and Innovation have met a high powered delegation from Cote D'Ivoire, led by the Ivorian Minister for water and Forest, Laurent Tchagba.

Ghana's Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor who co-chaired the meeting with the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah on 14th March 2023, informed the Ivorian delegation that there has been a lot of challenges in protecting the country’s river bodies, however, government has not relented for once as the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo keeps waging war against illegal miners in the country.

Mr Jinapor who also spoke on behalf of the Defence Minister, said the Ghana government has adopted a two-pronged approach to fighting illegal Mining, popularly known as galamsey which is the main source of pollution of the country’s river bodies.

The two-pronged approach which he mentioned to be law enforcement and reformation, has seen to the declaration of river bodies as red zones to mining and also authorizing the involvement of the Military on Operation Halt, an initiative geared towards riding the rivers off illegal miners.

The Lands Minister further stated that although illegal mining continues to pose a threat on the countries river bodies, he is optimistic that out of the deliberations of the meeting, they will be able to come to a firm conclusion that will help resolve the issues of water pollution in both countries, adding that he looks forward to working closely with all stakeholders to come to grips on the matter plaguing both countries.

The Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah for her part, noted that water is very central to the wellbeing of people around the world and not only Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire, therefore, it is pertinent to take up the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6 which advocates clean water and sanitation for all.

She also hoped that this bilateral meeting will help both countries take cognisance of the far reaching effects of a waterless world and make concrete decisions that will help both countries and the world at large.

The leader of the Ivorian delegation and Minister for Water and Forests, Cote D'Ivoire in his submission expressed his gratitude for a warm reception from all participating Ministries.

He said the issue of water is important in the history of both countries as it binds them in one way or the other and hoped that together they will be able to confer on issues and resolve the common challenge.

Also at the bilateral meeting on the Ghana side were the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, CEOs of the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Martin Ayisi and Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, respectively.

The Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company, Dr. Clifford A. Braimah, the National Coordinator of the Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Kotia and other officials from all Ministries were also present.

On the Ivorian side, were the Ambassador of Cote D'Ivoire to Ghana, Bernard Ehui - Koutoua, Defence Security Technical Coordinator of the National Border Commission of Côte D'Ivoire, Loua Deti Cesar and other officials.