Despite efforts to clamp down on all human activities within the Bui Hydroelectric Dam enclave, illegal mining and logging continue to thrive in the area – posing a threat to safety of the national asset, B&FT has gathered.
According to the Chief of Bui Resettlement Camp, Nana Kwadwo Wuo II, squatters around the Bui forest reserve are believed to be those perpetuating the illegalities.
He expressed concern about the inability of Bui Power Authority (BPA) to evacuate all illegal settlers around the forest reserve, as required by law.
Addressing a mini-durbar organised by the BPA to handover land and building documentation to the resettled people, the Chief appealed for government to as a matter of urgency intensify security at the place to help halt illegal mining and logging near the dam.
Illegal small-scale mining of alluvial gold, along the Black Volta existed before construction of the Bui Hydroelectric Dam started in 2004.
A navy detachment has been stationed there to control all manner of illicit economic activities such as ‘galamsey’, illegal logging and unsustainable fishing practices, but it appears the soldiers are constrained by inadequate logistics; hence, the illegal miners and loggers are having their way.
In a recent interview with journalists, CEO of BPA, Fred Oware, described the menace as a “national crisis”, saying: “BPA is doing the best that it can to stop those activities”.
He said the authority has only one boat, which is not fit for purpose. He stated that BPA has ordered for befitting boats to enhance patrols on the lake.