Illegal miners extend activities to residential facilities at Odumasi

9655656389529_828319826991Danger looms at Konongo-Odumasi in the Ashanti Region where illegal miners are carrying their activities to residential facilities.

Many houses, especially at Odumasi, are under siege as the miners dig deep into rocks that support old underground shafts.

Meanwhile, a dispute between natives of Konongo and mining firm, Oweri Mining Company, exposes operational lapses, resulting in extensive damage in the town.

Chiefs and youth of Konongo have been on a collision course with the Oweri Mining Company over uncovered pits and land encroachment, among other issues.

Ten deep unfenced pits, filled with water dug by successive mining companies serve as loose traps for children and unsuspecting people.

Large-scale illegal mining in the name of dredging the Oweri stream to prevent flooding is being carried out in the town.

Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has been on a fact- finding and mediation mission to the area.

Perhaps, the shocking revelation during the rounds was at Odumasi, where illegal mining has been extended right to residential buildings.

Pits as deep as 36 feet or more beneath foundations of structures have been dug in the middle of houses occupied by people including children.

The pits, according to reliable information, connect to old and abandoned mining shafts, exposing the buildings to potential collapse.

The concern dawned on Mr. Mintah Akandoh who ordered security agencies to close down the pits.

“I felt very very bad, today is my saddest day, to see people mining in their homes,” he said. “The technical people will tell you that because it’s an old mining town there are shafts underground and these shafts are pillared by rocks. These local people are eating into these supporting rocks, they are collapsing the whole system.”

Mr. Akandoh told Luv News “we’ve directed the security agencies to clamp down on those who are mining in their homes”.