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    Cocoa farmers wage war against galamsey activities in Ellembelle

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

    They stormed one of the illegal mining sites at Sendu in the district to express their displeasure and condemnation of the conduct of the illegal miners.

    They claimed that the destruction being caused 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 constituency, 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.

    Speaking in an interview with journalists, one of the affected residents, Grace Amihere, expressed her dismay at the level of pollution being displayed in the area.

    “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,” she lamented.

    “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,” she added.

    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 the 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 the 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,” he said.

    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.

    Armah-Kofi Buah assured the cocoa farmers of his commitment to forward the concerns raised in their petition to the Parliament of Ghana for redress.

    He, however, urged the affected residents not to keep quiet but to 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.

    Source: Daniel Kaku, Contributor

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