The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has complained about the destructive activities of illegal miners and warned that this has become a huge threat to the nation’s power supply.
Mr. Albert Kwesi Quainoo, its Head of Public Relations, said access routes used by the company’s technicians to carry out checks on high tension cables and power towers had been completely wrecked by the miners.
This, he added, was making it difficult to get closer to the cables to determine the condition and to assess if there was any rust of the pylons.
He cited instances where the miners had mined so close to the pylons carrying the power distribution cables that these could collapse unexpectedly and plunge large parts of the country into darkness.
Mr. Quainoo was speaking at a town hall meeting organized jointly by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey and National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) at Kyebi.
He labeled the situation as a serious national problem and said this was not only affecting the operation of GRIDCo, but water supply, the health service and other economic activities.
He indicated that the company had engaged the military to survey the encroached areas to ascertain the extent of the destruction, how to restore the areas and to gain access to the transmission towers.
The Deputy Minister of Information, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah Agyei, rallied the people to come together to protect the environment – forest and river bodies.
She asked that everybody found space to contribute to the fight to stop the illegal mining and said it was in the interest of all to ensure that mining was done in a more sustainable manner.
She hinted of government’s plans to introduce social interventions to help the illegal miners to give up on the activity.
The Convener of the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, said the coalition would continue to push ahead with the fight to stop illegal mining.
It was eager to see an end to the pollution of water bodies and to make sure the destroyed lands were reclaimed.
Mr. Ashigbey urged the people to be bold to name and shame powerful personalities behind the illicit mining.