Divisional Chief of Prestea Traditional Area in Prestea Huni Valley District of the Western Region, Nana Ntaboah Prah IV, has lamented that he has been receiving constant verbal threats from illegal miners.
The threats on his life, according to the chief, were as a result of his continuous move to support the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to clamp down on illegal mining activities in the area.
Speaking in an interview with Today following the death of twenty-two miners who died in an illegal mining pit on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at Kubekrom Abease near Prestea Nsuta, Nana Ntaboah Prah IV bemoaned the rise of deaths associated with abandoned “dangerous” mining pits in the area.
According to him, it was sad that Ghanaian citizens have to suffer this calamity, adding that the death of the miners at Kubekrom Abease must be a wake-up call to all Ghanaians who have been engaging in illegal mining activities.
The 22 illegal miners who passed on are Tusom Dramani, 24, Alenga Osuman, 19, Abu Mahamadu, 20, Kwabena Gyasi, Edmond Kantanah, 22, David Yendaw, Kojo Kandanoba,30, Kwabena Amadu, 20, Solomon Kojo, Kumi, 22, Alhassan Abdulai, Zakaria Amidu and Yaw Richard, 20.
The rest are Evans Asabi, 27, Richard Kwabena, 25, Michael Kwabena, 26, Elliasu Alale, 19, Ardul, Rahman, 21, Inusah Seidu, 21, Adams Abore, 23, Ibrahim Madhed, 20, Halidu Salifu, 33, and Abekah Kwaku, 25.
All the victims hail from Upper West, Upper East, Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Western Regions, according to records from the Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly.
The mining pit disaster, according to the Prestea chief, was a clear indication that the call by the central government on Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians to stay away from galamsey was not being heeded to by all galamseyers.
He stated that those who intend to get involved in illegal mining must know that the venture was dangerous and therefore, must stay away from it.
The young outspoken chief pointed out that apart from Kubekrom Abease in the Western Region there are many illegal mining pits in various mining communities in the country.
While campaigning against it, he stressed that “we must get hold of all those behind illegal mining activities in Ghana including foreign nationals (the Chinese, Indians and Ukrainians”).
Nana Ntaboah Prah IV added that government should also deploy a sizeable number of security personnel to monitor and investigate operations of illegal miners throughout the country.
In order for government to succeed in tits fight against illegal mining, he proposed that Minerals Commission must be made to cancel all licenses of small scale miners.
According to him, most of the small scale miners operate in shallow wells that were very close to rivers, making it easy for them to pollute water bodies.
He commended the media and their campaign to see an end to galamsey.