The fishermen who ply their trade in the catchment area of the Ankobra River say, they have begun seeing an increase in yield since government begun its campaign against illegal mining or galamsey.

As part of efforts to end galamsey, the government has placed a ban on all small-scale mining activities for six months.

Assemblyman for Ankobra, a community near the river, Paul Amoah, told Joy News there has been an increase in their catch, especially for seafood.

He says though there is more room for improvement, there has been a considerable change in their catch.

Water bodies destroyed by activities of illegal miners.

“It [catch] has changed considerably not entirely, but there has been great in improvement in the quality of the water, which is getting our lives back to normal.

“Also because we are in the raining season, when it rains, automatically, the mud that was dug and left upstream, are washed into the river. Apart from that, there has been an improvement,” he said.

Mr Amoah said the fishermen who were formerly using traps to fish along some streams which polluted by the galamseyers were unable to catch shrimps and lobsters which they are now catching in abundance.

“The situation with the catch is improving now as other types of fishes are now being caught and in large quantities as well,” the elated fisherman said.

According to him, some of the youth in the community who were previously engaged in the illegal activity have now returned to fishing.

Water bodies begin to see an improvement after the ban.

He said although not only the residents of Ankobrah were engaged in the galamsey activities when it was at its peak, the inhabitants who came back have settled in very well to make a living.

According to him, once they grew up to meet their ancestors fishing, the inhabitants have no other option but to come back to what hey know. 

The government has promised to create alternative livelihoods for those who left the galamsey pits, but the Assemblyman said he has not heard of anything like that.

“If I will hear anything, it will be from the Assembly but I have not heard anything from them and no government official has come to town to make any pronouncement to that effect,” he said.