Bui Dam faces danger as illegal miners defy ultimatum

The inhabitants of Dokokyina who live close to

the Bui Dam have defied the two-week

ultimatum given them to vacate the village due

to their illegal mining and fishing activities

There are no indications the residents

including nationals from Cote d'Ivoire, Mali,

Niger, Burkina Faso and China are moving out

of the area though the Brong-Ahafo Regional

Security Council warned them of forceful

eviction if they failed to move by April 14.

According to the Bui Power Authority (BPA),

the $600 million Dam that produces 400

megawatts of power faced danger because of

the illegal mining activities on at its fringes.

It could be polluted and silted which could

lead to its destruction because the illegal

miners are using heavy duty and earth-moving

machines in their operations.

Inhabitants of six villages in the catchment

area of the Dam were relocated by the BPA in

2011 to pave way for the construction of the

Dam but six households at Dokokyina refused

to relocate.

The population of Dokokyina has increased

from 15 occupants of the six households to an

estimated population of more than 6,000


While some of the residents were preparing for

their normal illegal mining activities, others

were also seen getting ready to go for fishing

in the Dam's prohibited reservoirs.

There were also brisk trading activities as

traders sold alcoholic and non-alcoholic

beverages with few chop bars operators also at


At some of the illegal mining sites, heavy duty

and earth-moving machines were seen parked

confirming that the illegal miners use them in

their operations and big pits, dug by the illegal

miners, were visible in the area.

Though attempts to speak to some of the illegal

miners were not successful, many of them

were seen wielding offensive instruments and

other sophisticated firearms.

According to some of local people in the area,

gold dealers and small scale miners often come

to the community to buy the raw gold from

the miners.

A resident stated that selling of raw gold was

not a problem and dealers bought sand they

suspect to contain gold.

Mr Wumbilla Salifu, the External and

Community Relations Manager of the BPA, said

the presence of the illegal miners was a great

worry to the BPA.

According to him, the water level in the

reserviour had decreased and illegal miners

are prospecting for gold in it but when the

water level rises chemicals they used would be

washed into the reserviour.

Mr Salifu said the illegal miners are gradually

removing the vegetative cover and there was

the possibility that soil would be washed into

the reserviour and eventually silt it.

He appealed to National Security to move in

immediately and evict the illegal miners

including residents of the village before they

succeed to kill the Dam.

Mr Salifu said REGSEC had been in the area

twice but there were no clear signs that the

people were ready to move and added "their

operations have reached dangerous dimension

need prompt intervention of by National


A senior citizen who wants to remain

anonymous told the GNA "Sometimes it is

strange how things happen in this country.

This is a huge national asset that is facing

danger. We know what to do but we are doing

nothing. We are allowing a few people

irresponsible people to hold the nation to

ransom. God save us."


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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