Illegal miners invade Kyebi Township


An open pit left behind a low cost house in Kyebi-Apetite areaIllegal miners invade Kyebi Township

28 September 2012

Residents and property owners in Kyebi in the East Akyem Municipality of the Eastern Region are living in extreme fear as they are uncertain whose property will be affected next by the incessant digging within the Kyebi Township by illegal miners who are mostly youth from the town.




Administrators, Head Teachers of schools and property owners affected by these ceaseless digging for gold reveal, they have stopped school children and wards from partaking in any form of activity outside their homes and schools to avoid death or injury around these open pits on their compounds.

Others also revealed the continuous cracks in their buildings they have had to deal with due to their proximity to the mining pits.

Mr Twum Ampofo of Christhead Institute Primary and JHS said the school’s administration has instructed all children not to use the school field again for fear of injury or loss of life, because it had been taken over by the illegal miners again.

The Kyebi School for the Deaf popularly called KIDEAF, Christhead Institute, Kyebi Community Technical Institute and the Abuakwa State College (ABUSCO) as well as Kyebi Pano and Zongo areas are the most affected by activities of galamsey operators.

A structure which was constructed by the Japanese Government for the Kyebi School for the Deaf to be used as workshop is also on the verge of closure by authorities for fear of a disabled child falling into one of the pits; some of which have been filled with water due to recent downpours in the area.

The once enviably crystal clear and clean Birim River which stretches through the Akyem Abuakwa and other areas in the Eastern region, has also not been spared by these illegal mining activities as they have blocked its original course and diverted it through a little tunnel to enable them dig the area for their illegal mining activities.

People who used to rely on the Birim River for various household chores in the Kyebi Township disclosed they cannot use it again because the level of pollution was unbearable.

The remains of the Birim RiverDigging every where for gold

“It is very worrying and dangerous because you don’t know which of your properties will be destroyed next as they are digging every nook and cranny of Kyebi in the name of gold mining.

Look at this (pointing to an open pit behind his house); apart from the cracks on my building, I’m also scared one of my children will fall into one of them one day”. WO Boateng Rtd, whose house and other properties near the Christen Debrah Livestock Project in Kyebi-Apetite, disclosed.

He further added that all efforts to get the illegal miners to cover the pit have proved futile because “they have the power be behind them. So I’m helpless my brother”.

One of the illegal miners who spoke on basis of anonymity narrated stories of how some of the illegal miners unknowingly fell into one of the pits from a bicycle and died in Esiken, a suburb of Kyebi a couple of weeks ago and another where one of his colleagues got drowned in one of the pits after work. Both stories have been corroborated by the Police in Kyebi.

Police Officers in Kyebi explain they have collaborated with the Regional Security Council to help bring the situation under control on countless occasions especially, when they started mining close to the town and people’s properties some months ago but it has been futile.

From: Mckyntosh Essuman Aidoo/Kyebi, Eastern Region



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