Cocoa farmers in the Western North Region have expressed stern concern about the persistence of illegal mining activities which are taking over lands in cocoa growing areas of the Region.
According to them, aside from destroying the environment and water bodies, the activities of illegal mining were gravely affecting cocoa production in the area.
Subsequently, the cocoa farmers have called on the Government and other stakeholders to as a matter of urgency intensify the fight against illegal mining to safeguard cocoa production in the Region.
A visit to some communities such as Boinzan, Kwawkrom, MintahKrom, Agyemadiem, Sayereso, Mafia, Komeama and Seniagyakrom all in the Juaboso District could report that vast land was being destroyed by the activities of illegal mining.
Additionally, illegal mining activities were going on unabated in Amoaya, Bokabo, Suano and Datano in the Bodi District.
Mr Stephen Mawuko Acquah, President of the Concern Youth Association of Amoaya in an interview with the media, said what was more worrying was how children of school-going age had abandoned school and were engaged in illegal mining.
He said farmers either had to walk for miles before getting water for their farming activities or resort to sachet water since major streams and rivers had been destroyed by illegal mining.
River bodies such as River Bia, River Asaman, Benzimata and River Enoku have been heavily polluted by the activities of illegal mining.
Mr Acquah therefore called on the government and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and traditional authorities to help save water bodies and cocoa production in the area.