Minister Blames Galamsey For Canoe Crash
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, insists the activities of illegal miners, popularly known as ‘Galamsey’, are responsible for the overturn of a canoe on the Offin River, at Amaadaa in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti region on Saturday, and which claimed six lives.
“Personally, I believe Galamsey activities, which were rampant in this area, caused the accident on the river”, the minister fumed whilst addressing newsmen.
Six people, including a toddler, perished after the canoe in which 13 people, mostly farmers, were travelling to pick foodstuffs from their farms, hit a stump and capsized around 8am on Saturday.
Seven of the passengers were saved but the remaining six people, including the toddler, could not swim to safety.
Only one body was found after the first day’s search by local divers.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, who visited the accident scene on Monday, sounded angry when he stated that illegal miners had diverted the course of the river just to mine for gold; adding that “this contributed to the river to flood after a downpour”.
“I have seen so many abandoned mining pits which were filled to the brim with stagnant water and I believe these played a role in making the river to overflow its banks after the rainfall, resulting in the capsizing of the canoe”, he insisted.
2 Bodies Found
Hon. Osei Mensah announced that two more bodies had been retrieved from the river by local divers, making three so far.
The Regional Minister assured that plans are in the pipeline to engage professional divers to support in the search process should the local divers fail to retrieve the remaining three bodies.
He disclosed that his outfit had supplied live jackets to be used by people that travel in canoes on the river. Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports, Hon. Isaac Asiamah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima Mponua Constituency, had visited the accident scene and consoled the affected families.