Wa: Ghana, Burkina Faso save Black Volta from “Malian illegal miners”

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The Wa West District Security Council (DISSEC) and some volunteers from Burkina Faso have responded to a clarion call by the chiefs and people of Bankpama  in the Upper West Region over a subtle takeover of the Black Volta by illegal miners from Mali

The call was made by the Assemblyman for the area, Awulah James upon a tip-off. Reports were rife that some unknown persons  had mounted a giant “engine boat” on the Black Volta after building about four structures on the Burkina Faso part of the Black Volta.

Consequently, the Chief of the area, Bankpama Naa Takuu Konta, detailed the Assemblyman and some youth to visit the scene where the engine and structures had been mounted.

The Assemblyman later reported the case to the Wa West District Assembly after confirming the presence of illegal miners. The DCE for the area, Edward Sabo Laabiir, and the District Patrol Team visited the site to salvage the situation.

Upon arrival at the scene, members of a Burkinabe Community Watch Dog Committee led by Mr. Dah Saaviel had already arrested the alleged “Galamseyers.”  

The illegal miners, according to their leader, Sumaila Maiga, are nationals of Mali but got to the banks of the Volta Lake through Burkinabe middlemen(names withheld).

At the scene, a total of 10 illegal miners made up of 8 men and 2 women were arrested by the local community security volunteers.

According to Sumaila Maiga, the leader of the illegal mining team, they were misled by some Burkinabe galamsey middlemen who claimed that there were huge deposits of gold in the Volta lake hence their presence. 

Items seized from the illegal miners included one Chan fan mining goat, 6 gallons of diesel, car batteries and other mining equipment

The Black Volta serves as a boundary between Ghana and Burkina Faso and provides potable water for many communities in these two countries. Residents use water from the Black Volta for domestic, agricultural, industrial and irrigation purposes. Black Volta also serves as habitats for Hippopotamus in the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary, fishes and other aquatic animals.

The Jambusi Water Project, which supplies water to the people of the Wa West District and even beyond is sourced from the Black Volta. Ghanaian communities along the Black Volta in Wa West include Chiatanga, Dabo, Bankpama, Kantu, Kpanfa, Tuole, Pelkpaare, Talawonaa, and Tankara.

Ghana | Atinkaonline.com | Ahmed Saanyo