Gov’t Reactivates Galamsey Fight

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has held an emergency stakeholders’ meeting to deliberate on how to safeguard the water bodies in the mining district in the Eastern Region.

According to a Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Dukar, the meeting was in response to reports the ministry had received on the surge in illegal mining activities across the mining regions in the country.

He explained that the report indicated that this notorious activity were causing devastation to the water bodies and forest reserves and as a responsible government, drastic measures need to be established to stop the menace.

In his opening statement, Mireku Dukar reiterated the government’s position on mining that the government was not against mining in general but rather government is finding sustainable solutions to the old-age problem of illegal mining and would not accept irresponsible mining; mining in and along the rivers and mining in the forest reserves which is a threat to the existing human beings and other natural habitats.

He asked the public to disregard the impression that the perpetrators of these crimes when arrested were mostly released upon the ‘ instructions from above, adding that President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo, and his government had on numerous occasions shown commitment and still leading the fight against this menace.

Mr. Dukar outlined additional measures that the government has put in place as part of her efforts to ensure responsible mining and environmental stewardship.

These included the deployment of speedboats to patrol the river bodies, recruitment of river wardens to permanently police the river banks, procurement and distribution of mercury-free gold processing machines for small-scale mining operators, etc.

The Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, who could not hide his worries about the negative effects of irresponsible mining in the region assured that the Regional Coordinating Council would continue to monitor the situation and ensure that the measures put in place were fully implemented.

He indicated that the Attorney General has designated Koforidua High Court ‘3’ and Circuit Court ‘B’ to adjudicate on all mining cases in the region and therefore urged the Police and the Traditional Leaders to make use of the facility to ensure a timely and fair trial.

During the open forum, the discussion centers on the need to tighten the country’s borders to ensure that foreign nationals who trade in this business were stopped, placing a ban on the fabrication and importation of “change and machines” into the country; involving traditional Leaders in giving out concessions to mining companies and instituting an award scheme for Traditional area/ leaders who perform well in safeguarding the river bodies and the forest reserve.

The meeting brought together members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), District/Municipal Security Council (DISEC/MUSEC) of the fifteen mining Districts, Members of District Mining Committees, and selected Chiefs from all mining Districts in the region, and Assembly Members.

Source: DGN

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