Government has taken steps to resolve transboundary issues on river pollution caused by the activities of illegal mining to the Tano and Bia rivers which flows through Ivorian waters.
To achieve these feat, the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, Sanitation and Water resources, Defence and Environment Science Technology and Innovation met a high-powered delegation from neighboring country, Cote D’Ivoire, led by its Minister for Water and Forest, Laurent Tchagba.
The meeting held on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, was co-chaired by the Ghana’s minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor and the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
Addressing the Ivorian delegation, Mr. Jinapor informed them that although protecting the country’s river bodies comes by a lot of challenges however government has not relented as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo keeps waging war against illegal miners in the country.
He noted that the Ghana government has adopted a two-pronged approach – law enforcement and reformation to fighting illegal Mining which is the main source of pollution of the country’s river bodies.
The two-pronged approach he added has seen to the declaration of river bodies as redzones to mining and also authorizing the involvement of the Military on Operation Halt, an initiative geared towards riding the rivers off illegal miners.
The lands minister further stated that although illegal mining continues to pose a threat on the country’s river bodies, he is optimistic that out of the deliberations of the meeting, they will be able to come to a firm conclusion that will help resolve the issues of water pollution in both countries, and added that he looks forward to working closely with all stakeholders to come to grips on the matter plaguing both countries.
The Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah on her part, noted that water is very central to the well-being of people around the world and not only Ghana and Cote D’ivoire, therefore it is pertinent to take up the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6 which advocates for clean water and sanitation for all.
She also hoped that this bilateral meeting will help both countries take cognisance of the far-reaching effects of a waterless world and make concrete decisions that will help both countries and the world at large.
The leader of the Ivorian Delegation and Minister for Water and Forests, Cote D’ivoire in his submission expressed his gratitude for a warm reception from all participating Ministries.
He said the issue of water is important in the history of both countries as it binds them in one way or the other and hoped that together they will be able to confer on issues and resolve the common challenge.
Attendees from the Ghanaian camp were the Minister for Environment Science Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, CEOs of the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency, Martin Ayisi and Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, respectively.
The rest include Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company, Dr. Clifford A. Braimah, the National Coordinator of the Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Kotia and other officials from all Ministries present.
On the Ivorian side, were the Ambassador of Cote D’ivoire to Ghana, H.E Bernard Ehui – Koutoua, Defence Security Technical Cordinator of the National Border Commission of Côte D’ivoire, Loua Deti Cesar and other officials.