The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it has commissioned a team from its regional office in Tubmanburg, Bomi County and scientists from its Monrovia headquarters to investigate reports of water pollution by Bea Mountain Mining Company in Grand Cape Mount County.
The EPA took the action following the expression of concern by residents of the incident that has led to the death of some aquatic species in the Mafa and Morvor Rivers in Grand Cape Mount County as depicted in posts on social media.
The EPA, headed by Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, pronounced that it has dispatched its team to the alleged site to ascertain the gravity of the pollution.
EPA urged the public to remain calm while awaiting technical report from its team and as well strongly advises residents of the alleged affected communities to avoid usage of the water and not to consume any dead aquatic species especially fishes until further notice.
The EPA has assured the public that it remains commitment to its core values of ensuring a clean, safe and healthy environment for all and urges the public to report any act of pollution across the country.
The pronouncement by the EPA was prompted by reports that residents along the Mafa River in Grand Cape Mount County are said to be living in fear because of an alleged spill of toxic chemicals in the river as a result of mining operation by the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC).
The Mafa River is used for drinking, cooking, bathing, fishing and other domestic purposes by several thousand residents living along the banks of the river from 10 communities as a result of the lack of pipe-borne water or hand pumps.
According to residents of Jekanlor Town, a town situated along the banks of the Mafa River, some members of the town went to fetch water during the early morning hours of Saturday, May 21, 2022 when they discovered scores of dead fishes and a dead dog in the water, prompting concerns and suspicion.
The residents added that upon the discovery made by the first group of people, they immediately returned to the town with the information, which provoked an investigation.
As the result of the probe, members of the town concluded that the death of the fishes and the dog was not natural but could be the result of the spilling of a chemical (yet to be determined) in the river.
The residents maintained that the dog allegedly died as a result of eating several dead fishes that were along the river due to the alleged chemical spill by the BMMC.
The information of the alleged contamination of the river spread like wildfire to the nearby towns along the banks of the MafaRiver to deter them from using the river for their usual activities as a precautionary measure.
However, there has been no report of any human casualty from the suspected poisoning of the water in any of the towns along the banks of the river.
The incident has instilled fear in the people living along the river on grounds that they don’t have an alternative for water and are therefore calling on relevant authorities for their swift intervention aimed at remedying the situation.
Meanwhile, the management of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation has assured members of the affected towns that it will pay a visit to the towns to assess the situation.
At the same time, the management of the mining company has pledged to provide safe drinking water for the residents of the affected communities.