Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council takes proactive steps to secure the Bui Dam against Illegal Mining Activities - News Hunter Magazine

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council takes proactive steps to secure the Bui Dam against Illegal Mining Activities

Illegal mining activities remain one of the challenges confronting the Brong Ahafo Region. Some areas affected by galamsey operations include Susuanso, Yamfo, Techire, Adrobaa, Tanoso and Afrisipakrom, in the Tano North District, Kenyasi, Ntotroso and its environs in the Asutifi North District, Dokokyina/Bui National Park in the Banda District and Atuna in the Jaman South District. Hon. Eric Opoku, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister speaking at the Third Quarter Meeting of the Regional Co-ordinating Council for the year 2014, on Monday, 29th September, 2014, said the most serious challenge facing the region currently is the situation at Dokokyina where Galamsey activities is not only a threat to the Bui Dam leading to the pollution and silting of the Dam thereby culminating in the eventual destruction of the Dam, but also poses serious security challenges to the stability of the area as well as the safety of the dam. Dokokyina is a community which is located near the Bui Dam and was one of the villages that were resettled by the Bui Power Authority (BPA) to make way for the construction of the Bui Hydro Electric Dam. At the time of the resettlement, there were 36 households at Dokokyina out of which 30 including the legitimate Chief (Odikro) of the area had agreed to relocate to the resettlement sites, leaving 6 households in the area who refused in spite of all persuasions by the BPA, to relocate. Hon. Eric Opoku said, the refusal of the occupants of the six households attracted other nationals including Malians, Burkinabes, Beninoires, Ivoirians, Nigerians and Nigeriens who had infiltrated the community to engage in activities such as illegal mining, thereby causing massive destruction to the environment which poses a threat to the conservation of the Bui Hydro-Electric Generating Station. He said REGSEC with support from the National Security Council therefore deployed a combined team of Military and Police Personnel to evict the illegal miners with the view to preserving the Dam as well as the Forest reserve. "It is our intention to embark on land reclamation exercises to restore the degraded and destroyed lands to their useful states. It is hoped that the inhabitants of those areas would have their farm lands restored to them." He assured the general public that REGSEC will continue to take proactive and determined steps to secure the Forest reserve and the Bui Generating Station which is a priceless national asset. Chieftaincy and Land Disputes He entreated Nananom to take measures to resolve the disputes since they were impacting negatively on the smooth development of the region. He stated that, there are currently 49 Chieftaincy disputes pending before the High Courts (2) and Judiciary Committee (47) of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs. SECURITY According to Hon. Eric Opoku, the Brong Ahafo Region is reputed to be one of the peaceful regions in the country. He said this feat has been achieved as a result of the hard work of the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC), the Municipal/District Committees (MUSEC and DISEC), Nananom and other security services in the region. He announced that the number of crime statistics at the end of the second quarter of this year are as follows: - the number of criminal cases reported by the end of July, 2014 was 19 compared with 52 cases recorded by the same period in 2013, therefore showing a reduction of 63 percent. Meanwhile, the Police-to-Population Ratio currently stands at 1:1,105 which indicates a major policing deficit. "Even though the Ratio is very disproportionate, because of the resources available, the Police have been able to effectively maintain a stable security situation in the region." saids the Regional Minister. EDUCATIONAL SECTOR Hon. Eric Opoku disclosed that, the University of Energy and Natural Resources has commenced its operations and growing from strength to strength. "The current students' population stands at Seven Hundred and Fourteen (714) made up of One hundred and Fifty Four (154) 3rd year students and Five Hundred and Sixty (560) 2nd year studentr while admissions are on-going for first year students for the 2014/2015 Academic year. He said the government, in consonance with its programme to upgrade all Polytechnics to Technical University status, has provided the Sunyani Polytechnic with a total amount of GHC 3,082,879.70 to construct Ultra-modern Science Park Complex which when completed will contain lecture theatres, auditoriums, laboratories and staff offices and the renovation of Polytechnic Council Chamber all aimed at expanding the existing facilities to a befitting status. He adviced all Heads of Second Cycle Institutions charging unapproved fees to desist from it: Hence, the current fees for new students in boarding houses in Senior High Schools across the country is GHC 668.50 each while day students will pay GHC 355.50. For continuing students, the approved fees payable per term is GHC 385.00 for boarding students and GHC 73.00 for day students. HEALTH SECTOR The Hon. Regional Minister said, 5 Polyclinics have been provided at Techimantia, Wamfie, Bomaa, Kwatire and Nkrankwanta, at a total cost of fourteen million two hundred and sixty five thousand Ghana cedis (GHC 14,262,000.00). "To improve maternal and child care as well as accelerate the reduction in mortality, a total of 136 CHPS Compounds have been constructed and are fully functional across the region." He said as at the end of August 2014, the Brong Ahafo Region had achieved the following positive indicators as a mark of improvement in health care delivery: Zero reported incidence of Guinea Worm since 2010 HIV/AIDS prevalence has remained stable at 2.0% (S.S) Out-Patient Per Capita increased from 1.6 in 2012 to 1.7 in 2013 implying that at least two persons in the region had the chance to visit a health facility. WATER SECTOR He said over 117 boreholes have been successfully drilled under the Government of Ghana/COCOBOD Investment Project. Also, 48 concrete well pads have constructed and 48 Solar powered pumps installed under the project. "Currently, under the 20,000 Borehole Construction Project, a total number of 171 boreholes have been successfully drilled and a total of 12 concrete well pads have been constructed as well as 12 hand pumps fitted." ENERGY SECTOR According to Hon. Eric Opoku, The construction of the Bui Dam coupled with the successful installation of the Kintampo and Mim sub-stations by Weldy-Lamonde, under the Government's Energy Expansion Programme are success stories which need to be emphasized. He stated that, the Region has witnessed tremendous improvement in the energy sector in recent times relating to increased provision of rural electrification to many communities. "In this regard, a total number of 839 communities have so far benefited with a lot more being connected to the grid." ROAD SECTOR The Ghana Highways Authority has since 2009 been undertaking the construction of a total of 180.647 Kilometres of roads at a total cost of GHC 77,700,502.39 in the region. Hon. Eric Opoku said, The Department of Feeder Roads has also undertaken the construction of 533.29Kms roads at a total of GHC 60,440,217.23 under the Cocoa Roads Improvement Projects across the region and this has led to the improvement of the road network in the cocoa growing communities.

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