Activities of illegal miners at Dunkwa in the Central Region are thwarting efforts by traditional authorities to deal with perennial floods.

Persistent alluvial dredging of river beds and washing of sand for gold have narrowed the courses at various parts, causing siltation.

A joint operation by small scale miners and the national anti-galamsey task force has discovered many Chang fa boats on River Offin.

The dry season offers convenience for the illegal miners to plunder the environment in search of gold and the destruction is at a peak.

The river, like others elsewhere in the country, is colored and unusable due to the unlawful activities of a few greedy people.

A two- day operation by the Small Scale Mining Taskforce and Operation Vanguard saw about 115 Chang fa machines destroyed.

A lot more boats still sit on the river due to increased numbers of alluvial miners in the dry season.

“We will need to spend more days to destroy the machines but sadly in weeks they will be back.

“Arresting them is also difficult because immediately they see you, they fall in the river and swim into the bushes,” Bresi Andoh, the leader of the task force said.

The Chang fa boat has become popular, especially among illegal miners, as it provides both a platform and tool for dredging of water beds and sand washing.

Both activities cause mud and siltation of the river.

“You see silt deposits in the middle of the river so whenever it rains it disrupts flow and sometimes it floods.

“This is very disturbing, you can see the course of the river reducing and it all contributes to the flooding”.

“It is becoming unbearable at some parts of Dunkwa whenever it rains”, Okofrobour Obeng Nuako II is Dunkwahene.

With heavy silt deposit in the middle of the river and narrowing of the course, the slightest downpour can cause perennial floods.

The annual occurrence comes with loss of lives and property.

Traditional authorities embarked on an exercise to de-silt the river ahead of the rains but the initiative is disrupted by defiant alluvial miners.

“We de-silt the river and the next day you see these people back, damaging the river”, Dunkwahene added.  

It will take drastic state action to rid communities here of brazenness of the miners to curtail the loss of lives and property to floods.