There are reports that students in Bahn, Nimba County, have abandoned classes and are mining in the newly-opened diamond mining town of Zayglay, a few kilometers from Bahn.
Wilfred Dahn, a teacher in Bahn, told Radio Nimba that the students are no longer serious with their education, since diamond was reportedly discovered in a creek near Zayglay Town, a fortnight ago.
Dahn said when the students, during school hours, leave for recess, they never return to their classes, but would rather take their shovels for mining activities in Zayglay, which is 45 minutes’ walk from Bahn.
He also explained that some local government officials at most times close their offices during lunch hour to reportedly go to the diamond mine.
The report is yet to be independently confirmed, but a visit to Bahn recently by this reporter found that the discovery of diamonds in one of the creeks in Zayglay was hampering farming and other basic activities, including schools and government’s functions.
People of school going age were seen with their mining tools heading toward Zayglay, during school hours, although the miners could not show exactly where the mining was taken place, due to government ban on alluvial mining in the county.
It is alleged that the Zayglay Kpodoe Cooperative that received a brand new tractor from CNFA/LADA also encountered some setbacks, with most of the workers abandoning the cooperative work for mining.
There has been a report of an influx of young men into Zayglay seeking for jobs at the mines, including daily hire and cooking for some of the miners.
Bahn is one the oldest mining towns in Nimba, where most creeks are noted for having diamond deposits, a situation which authorities from the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy have surveyed with diagrams of those deposits.
The ban on alluvial mining by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf suppressed mining activities in the region, is creating what residents described as prolonged hardships for the population.