Chief of Omanpe in the Aowin District of the Western Region has narrated how he offered part of a school land for illegal mining, popularly known as Galamsey.
According to Nana Oppong Panyin II, he took the decision to allow a Chinese company to mine at the site in order to save the lives of the pupils because a big gulley had developed behind the school which has become a death trap.
Speaking on Adom 106.3 FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem, the chief said the municipal assembly had, for many years, turned deaf ears to appeals from the people of Omanpe and its surrounding towns.
“We have been left to our fate and anytime it rained, we were in trouble. When it rains, all buildings including my palace get flooded and people get displaced as well as properties.
“I wrote a report to NADMO and the MCE, inviting them to the place but all NADMO officials do is to come and give two cups of rice to flood victims and leave,” he lamented.
Nana Oppong Panyin II said the situation persisted for long till the miners from HK Zindim, a Chinese company, came to the town’s rescue to divert the water way.
He said it was the Chinese company that came to the community’s rescue by blocking the water from flooding towns anytime it rained.
“They asked for a land behind the school to mine in return and I agreed because they really helped us,” he said.
Nana Oppong Panyin II stressed the fact that it wasn’t his intention to give out the said space for such a purpose, insisting also that the mining activity was far from the school.
Listen to Nana Oppong Panyin II in the audio below:
“Contrary to reports, I rather asked the miners to cover a drain behind the school in order not to put the lives of the pupils at risk,” Nana Oppong explained.
Reports suggest that illegal miners from neighbouring districts have found the Aowin Municipality very attractive for their illegal activities.
During the period of the ban on small scale mining and after, there have been many incursions into the Aowin Municipality by the miners.
These have been despite fierce resistance from the Municipal Security Council and the Municipal Committee Against Illegal Mining.
Meanwhile, some six people involved in the act have been arrested and granted bail with investigations ongoing.
Watch the video below of how the galamsey activity has destroyed the school land: