The Bia River which serves Dormaa-Ahenkro and its surrounding communities is polluted by the activities of ‘galamsey’ operators.
The situation has compelled officials of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) at Dormaa-Ahenkro to close the valves of the two dams, which is normally opened to the inflows of the river.
Mr. Zugmaab S. Godwin, the Dormaa Municipal Manager of GWCL, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview, on Tuesday, at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
Mr. Godwin explained that the dams now faced an imminent drying up, saying, “We cannot open the river into it because of its muddiness”.
“Even though the dams are not polluted, we risk not getting water in the dry season as a result of the current situation,” he said.
“The water level in one of the dams is low but because of the muddiness they cannot open the valves”. Mr. Godwin said.
“Most animal species living in the river are reportedly killed because of contact with the harmful chemicals being used by the ‘galamsey’ operators,” he stated.
The Manager noted that the illegal miners who were found in Subrinkrom, Wamanafo, Kyeremasu and Dormaa Akwamu, all in the Dormaa East District of the Brong-Ahafo Region often used mercury; cyanide and lead in their operations, saying these had serious health implications to end users of the river.
“Lead affects nervous system of humans, while mercury and cyanide can give cancer,” Mr. Godwin cautioned.
He, therefore, called for the intensification of education about the dangerous effects of these chemicals in illegal mining.