Two illegal miners, George Duadze, 25, and Kwaku Antiful, 23, have been sentenced to five months in jail by a Circuit Court at Bekwai in the Bekwai Municipality of the Ashanti Region.
The Bekwai Municipal Office of the Forestry Commission, arrested the two for illegally mining in the Apramprama Forest Reserve.
[contextly_sidebar id=”XQcWQgQtk2ay22kP7RBdgRp3jiC7MHHR”]The rapid response team of the Commission which had information about their activities, rushed to the scene and met the two persons with others washing gold in the forest at Jacobu, in the Amansie Central District.
The team managed to arrest the two persons, whilst the others escaped.
The team also noticed that the pit in which the miners were carrying out their activities, had a circumference measurement of about two feet and 50 feet deep.
The miners, who were handed to the police, later appeared before the Bekwai Circuit Court.
The Bekwai Municipal Manager of the Forestry Commission, George Agbenoshie, in an interview with Citi News, called on the general public to assist his outfit to clamp down on such activities.
“We want our major stakeholders to come on board to assist us, especially our major stakeholders so that we protect that part of the forest reserve. We want the judiciary to apply stiffer punishments that serves as a deterrent such that people will not continue to indulge in such practices.”
Fight against illegal mining ongoing
2017 will go down as the year with the most significant action against the galamsey menace from the government, the media and the public alike.
The government scaled up law enforcement efforts by deploying a task-force to three regions with relatively high illegal mining activity and this has resulted in hundreds of arrests.
It has also put in place an action plan called the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) to outline measures to reclaim polluted natural bodies and re-engage illegal miners in alternative livelihood projects, among other things.
The Chief Justice also designated 14 courts that will be dedicated to handling mining offenses committed under the Minerals and Mining Act, (Act 703) and (Amendment) Act 2015 (Act 900).
There is also currently a ban on all forms of small-scale mining in a bid to protect the heavily degraded forests and water bodies. The ban, which has been running for six months, has been extended by three months and is expected to end in January 2018.
By: Hafiz Tijani/citifmonine.com/Ghana