Citi News can confirm that some communities in the Wassa Akropong and Amenfi Districts of the Western Region are still engaged in illegal mining activities along water bodies.
This is in spite of a ban placed on all forms of small-scale mining and an intensified government effort to end illegal mining.
[contextly_sidebar id=”g72YN8oAOgldMLmc1JpYzk6Y0GbxsRy0″]Citi News’ Western Regional Correspondent, Obrempong Yaw Ampofo, reports that although the anti-galamsey task-force, Operation Vanguard, is working in these areas, the miners have adopted new methods to outwit them.
“We have over a million illegal miners scattered across the Western Region. The Western Region has less than hundred land-guard officers trying to contain illegal mining. Galamsey is still ongoing in the Wassa Amenfi community”.
As part of measures to clamp down these miners, the National Commander of the task-force, Colonel Amoah Ayisi, said his team is hopeful that the involvement of the Navy and Marine Police will yield some positive results.
“The river body is a major concern in terms of these illegal mining activities. So far, we have managed to destroy four hundred and eighty-five floating platforms that they use on the river for illegal mining,” he said
The Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, has said that the fight against illegal mining known as galamsey, will be sustained to bring an end to the abuse of Ghana’s mining laws and the destruction of the environment.
“The move by government to end galamsey or illegal mining is based on the wanton destruction of the country’s water bodies, farmlands and other infrastructure by individuals and groups within and outside the country. Due to the gravity of the situation, government through a well-orchestrated means will sustain the campaign against this menace”.
Small scale mining ban extended again
The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has for the third time extended the ban placed on all forms of small-scale mining.
Following the widespread devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of the activities of illegal mining, government, in January 2017 placed a ban on small scale mining for a period of six months.
The ban was however extended in October 2017, for another three months, which ended in January 2018.
But speaking at an awards ceremony by the Bureau of Research, Governance, Commerce and Administration, the Lands and Natual Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu explained that his outfit had to extend the ban again after small scale miners failed to meet the target set for them to have it reviewed.
“The ban has invariably been extended because we have not lifted it. We met with the Association and clearly our targets have still not been met. The ban is still in force until we have reviewed our performance and given an indication of what to do next.”
The Minister also indicated that his outfit will maintain the moratorium on all activities of small-scale mining until it was convinced that, illegal mining, otherwise known as “galamsey” had been completely eradicated.
‘Small-scale miners stage protest’
In September 2017, some small-scale miners in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, staged a demonstration against the ban,
Despite some police arrests and firing of tear gas at the protesters, the organizers described the demonstration as successful.
By: Farida Yusif/citifmonline.com/Ghana