Cocoa farmers in Ellembelle protest illegal mining activities

A group known as Concerned Cocoa Farmers (CCF) in the Ellembelle District of Western Region on Saturday, June 1, hit the streets in their numbers to protest against wanton destruction of the environment through illegal mining activities in the Ellembelle District.

They stormed one of the illegal mining sites at Sendu in the District to express their displeasure and convulsion against the conduct of the illegal miners.

They claimed the destruction being causes to their cocoa farms and water bodies through these nefarious activities cannot be quantified.

Benjamin Azachie, leader of Concerned Cocoa Farmers, presented their petition to the Member of Parliament for Ellembelle Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah.

He urged the lawmaker to use his good office and the august house of Parliament to help stop the forceful takeover of cocoa farms by illegal miners (galamsey operators) in the area.

He said the illegal mining activities continue to destroy their investments and clean water bodies in the affected areas of the District.

Sneaking in an interview with journalists, one of the affected residents Grace Amihere explains how the level of pollution being displayed in the area is negatively affecting her

“I’m demonstrating because of the pollution of our water bodies and destruction of cocoa farms. How are we going to feed our children with the destruction of our farms? The operators suddenly came without prior notice to us.
“They tried to pay off my brother to mine in his cocoa farm, but because he refused to accept their money, they have destroyed half of the farm. Why are they doing this to us? This is what worries us. President Akufo-Addo must address this concern. Right now, farmers are not getting water to drink.“

Another affected resident, Ama Amihere, also claimed, “They have destroyed rubber farms and also cheated the farmers after forcefully taking their farms. So, we are pleading with government that what is happening is not lawful.”

The once-clean River Fia has been polluted after the invasion of “galamsey” activities in the Nyamebekyere-Sendu area of Ellembelle District.

The Assembly Member of Nyamebekyere Electoral Area, Nicholas Kofi Mawuli, who is deeply worried about the negative development
expressed concerns about the use of Chinese in the front line.

They are fronting in engaging in the illegalities in this area.

After over an hour of demonstrating at the Sendu galamsey site, the demonstrators (Concerned Cocoa Farmers) presented their petition to the MP for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.

He assured the cocoa farmers of his commitment to forward the concerns raised in their petition to Parliament of Ghana for redress.

He, however, urged the affected residents not to keep quiet but endeavor to speak loudly against illegal mining activities in the area.

He said the war against the illegal mining activities in the area, remains a collective responsibility and all hands must be on deck to stem the tide.

By: Zambaga Rufai Saminu | | Ghana

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