Prestea mine collapse… Up to 17 Galamsey operators are trapped underground in a mine which collapsed while they sought to mine there, contrary to government’s directive.
The incident which took place in Prestea Nsuta Western region saw up to 14 people killed in the pit collapse. Five others, who managed to escape unhurt, are assisting the Police with investigations. Police in the Western Region has declared owners of the Galamsey pit in Prestea Nsuta wanted.
Prestea District Police Commander, Superintendent Atsu Dzineku, who interacted with the media has lamented on how illegal miners have taken over almost all nooks and crannies of the area.
Disclosing some leads, he mentioned one Kojo Baah as the owner of the pits. The commander continued that the named culprit, as well as other unmentioned ones, are on the police’s wanted list.
According to reports, 17 people are believed to be trapped in the pit. To this effect, rescue efforts are currently underway to retrieve dead bodies from the pit.
Prevalence of Illegal Mining in Ghana
Over the years, the government has been making efforts by coming up with different policies to curb the practice of illegal gold mining otherwise known as Galamsey. The widespread practice of Galamsey in Ghana has led to the massive degradation of lands and pollution of water bodies in the country.
Water plants in some regions in the country, have been abruptly shut down in recent times due to the massive reductions in water levels caused by illegal mining. A perfect instance is the shut down of Abessim water treatment plant in Brong Ahafo due to the reduction in water levels in the Tano River.
Prestea Mine Collapse: About Mining Pits
It is important to note that some of the pits have been abandoned for several months by multinational mining companies that have been licensed to operate in the country. However, in the absence of the licensed operators, abusers now carelessly and incautiously raid these pits in search of gold, to the detriment of their own safety.
Now a direct threat to life; many lives have been lost as a result of mining pits caving in on illegal miners in Ghana. In 2016, two people died when a pit caved in on them at Akyem Ahwenease in the Eastern Region.