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A/R: Illegal miners take over Bosomtwe Range Forest

Despite the ban on illegal mining in the country, a group of illegal miners (Galamseyers) have defied President Akufo-Addo’s orders and have taken hold of the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve within the Bosome Freho District of the Ashanti region.

With the alleged backing of some political bigwigs, the galamseyers have flouted the orders with impunity calling the bluff of leadership.

Intelligence gathered from the Bosome Freho district, by a team of journalists after storming most of the mining communities within the entire district established that there are illegal mining (galamsey) activities that have caused total destruction to the environment and posing a bigger threat to the Bosomtwi Range Forest Reserve which is managed by the Forestry Commission.

Residents of Daanso, Minti, Yapesa, Kokoben, Nsuaem No. 2, Hantasi, and Dompa are peeved with the illegal mining activities in the area which according to them is a major source of worry.

The residents are demanding an immediate end to the menace that is negatively impacting their livelihoods.

Speaking to Koforidua based Bryt FM reporter Evans Boateng, who was part of the journalists who visited the constituency, the residents complained about the destruction of their forest by galamsey and its effect on the environment.

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“Some people are taking the law into their own hands and decided to destroy the forest which will benefit the country in the near future.

“We are not going to let that happen here. We stood against it some time ago but the issue went to sleep. They have now returned to destroy the crops again,” some commuters said.

Some cocoa farmers who spoke to the media lamented on the destruction of water bodies used for irrigation purposes.

They noted that there has been a decline in their harvest as a result of the destruction of their farmlands caused by illegal mining activities and forecasted famine in the near future.

“We are going to face hunger soon. We plead with President Akufo-Addo to come to the aid of the people of Danso because we are indeed suffering.

“Our only source of drinking water is being destroyed. They have destroyed all our crops,” a cocoa farmer engaged lamented.

Commuters disclosed that president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has been stabbed in the back by some of his own appointees at the local level when it comes to the illegal mining fight.

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According to them the District Chief Executive for Bosome Freho, Mr. Yaw Danso, who doubles as the chairman of the District Security Council, DISEC is fully aware of the operational activities of the galamseyers because according to them, the galamseyers claimed they have already seen the DCE before embarking upon their operational activities.

The residents also accused one Salifu Ali, who is always with the DCE, Bismark Kwame Boateng, the NPP communications officer for the Bosome Freho constituency, one Nana Kwame, who supervises the galamsey activities at Hatansi on the Dompa road as the key people who are entertaining illegal mining activities which they sometimes involve the Chinese Nationals.

The residents further hinted that the traditional authorities in the district are not happy about the development but because of political involvement, they find it very difficult to call the galamseyers to order.

The police, and other state security in the area according to some of the residents who boldly spoke with the team of journalists claim they are very much aware and cannot stop them because they alleged they also take monies from the illegal miners.

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One Opanin Kwabena Kyei, pleaded with the government to help them destool the Chief of Danso, who they blame for continued activities of illegal mining in the district.

Several efforts were made by the team of journalists who embarked on the visit to call the DCE, Mr. Yaw Danso, the NPP constituency chairman, Mr. Yaw Atakora Amaniampong, Bismark Kwame Boateng, to respond to the allegations made by some of the residents of the mining communities visited but could not answer the phone or call back.

When reached on phone, the constituency organizer who doubles as the Presiding Member of the Bosome Freho District Assembly, Mr. Kwaku Frimpong, did not deny the illegal mining activities in the district but told the journalist who spoke with him that it is not only Bosome Freho district in which illegal mining activities are alarming and further implied that the team of journalists are always welcome if they want to engage in the galamsey business.