Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire discuss pollution of water bodies by illegal miners
The Government of Ghana has taken steps to resolve trans-boundary issues on river pollution regarding the Tano and Bia rivers, which also flow through Ivory Coast. 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, in Accra yesterday, informed the Ivorian delegation that there have been a lot of challenges in protecting the country’s river bodies. However, government has not relented for once as President Akufo-Addo keeps waging war against illegal miners in the country.
Samuel A. 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 authorising 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 continue to pose a threat to the countries river bodies, he is optimistic that after the deliberations, 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, on her part, noted that water is very central to the well-being 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 for 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, 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, CEOs of the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Martin Ayisi and Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu respectively.
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