Information available to Ghananest.com has revealed that a mining company in Wassa Mampong, Koantwi Mines is engaged in Galamsey operation at Tonton Forest Reserve in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipality of the Western Region.
According to the information, Koantwi Mining Company is owned by one Kofi Antwi popular known as Kofi Diesel.
It is indicated that Kofi Antwi who is allegedly involved galamsey activities in the forest reserve claim to have acquired legal documents from the state regulatory institutions such as Land Commission, Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission and Environmental Protection Agency to prospect gold from the forest.
Tonton Forest Reserve according to information is said to be the third largest forest reserve in the country.
The 35.9 square kilometers forest reserve is located at Wassa Mampong.
It is about 20 kilometres away from Wassa Akropong, the capital of Wassa Amenfi East Municipality.
The operations of the mining company at the forest is damaging the ecology of the land and also degrading and depleting the forest reserve.
But the state regulatory institutions who are mandated to safeguard the forest seems to be in bed with the owner of the mining company thus their silence to stop the company from destroying the forest reserve.
Our investigation has also disclosed that the company through its operations had destroyed vast hectares of the forest reserve.
It is also revealed that timbers and trees have been cut down indiscriminately by chainsaw and excavators operators in the forest reserve.
Some youths in the area, who on several occasions have demonstrated to register their displeasure against the galamsey activities in the forest are shocked at how the leaders are not making any effort to stop Koantwi from mining in the forest.
They wondered why such a forest be allowed to be destroyed by galamsey operations.
They have appealed to the government to investigate the supposed license given to the company for prospecting in the forest reserve.
Source: Ghananest.com/Matthew O.A. Dadzie