War Against ‘Galamsey’ Topmost Priority Of Government – Amewu

 

Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, says war against illegal mining remains the topmost priority of the Government and that it would ensure that the practice becomes unattractive.

“Not only will we end this trade but to make sure that it becomes unattractive for someone to venture in,” he told the Energy Media Group who called on him to present copies of their quarterly magazine to the Ministry.

Activities of the unlawful mineral extraction has led to wanton destruction of farmlands and water bodies, sparking ongoing media campaign in Ghana to pressure government to end the canker.

Some chiefs and influential political figures were cited last week in a Bureau of National Investigations report for perpetuating the illegal trade which experts say involves over five million people.

“The galamsey thing we are talking about is here, it’s not a joke at all, and must be tackled with all seriousness,” Mr Amewu said.

“Must we sit here and fold our arms and watch these few people to destroy our water bodies for us?
“No way, and we are committed to ending this menace within the shortest possible time and it is the topmost priority for this government,” he said.

He expressed happiness that the magazine had dedicated a column for mining related issues to champion the happenings within the sector.

Mr Henry Teinor, the Chief Executive Officer of Energy Media Group, told the Minister about activities of the upcoming Ghana Energy Awards which is planned for December.

“We are also, by this visit, pledging our support to help you succeed,” he said.

The Minister subscribed to the 60-page magazine that features a wide range of topics on energy matters in Ghana’s oil sector and around the world.

 

Source: Peace Fm

 

Chinese Galamsey Kingpin Busted

By: Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi

Aisha Huang 

 

AISHA  HUANG, the 31-year-old Chinese woman suspected to be one of Ghana’s most notorious illegal miners, is again in the grips of the security service for allegedly flouting mining laws with impunity when she was left off the hook in August last year after a similar arrest.

Aisha Huang, who has acquired local names – Aisha and Yaa Asantewaa – was freed and her excavators that were seized by operatives of the National Security released following an order by the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) after a reported inconclusive investigation into her alleged illegal activities.

The re-arrest of the woman last Saturday came shortly after the arrest of four other Chinese nationals who confessed working as illegal miners at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region for Aisha Huang.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) said Aisha was the kingpin of a Chinese galamsey gang, with other members being Gao Jin Cheng 45, Lu Qi Jun 39, Haibin Gao 26 and Zhang Zhi Peng 23.

Ashanti Regional Deputy Commander of GIS, Chief Superitendent Peter Adu-Appiah, disclosed that the Chinese immigrant and her cohorts had since been sent to the national headquarters in Accra for further investigation.

According to him, it took officers of the Service more than four hours to get the lady arrested as she let loose her wild dogs on them, in an effort   to resist arrest.

Aisha Huang was finally nabbed when she went to the GIS regional office to plead for the release of the four Chinese illegal miners, even though she was being sought after without her knowledge.

Even after the deadline for galamsey operators to fold up had expired, Aisha and her gang were not ready to abandon the lucrative gold business before her arrest on Saturday.

It has emerged that Aisha is perceived as untouchable because she is holding secrete sexual video tapes of some power brokers in the security services and some politicians which she is using for blackmailing. Veteran journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, who made the revelation on Joy FM’s ‘News File’ programme last Saturday, claimed three women were involved in the supposed sex tape.

According to him, the Chinese women had built a network of influence in high places in the country which they rely on for protection whilst engaging in galamsey activities.

The Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service, Kwame Takyi, explained yesterday that following the revelations made by Kweku Baako, his men moved in to effect Aisha’s arrest after receiving authorisation from the Interior Minister.

He said the galamsey suspects had been brought to Accra and assisting in investigations.

Previous Arrest
Some national security operatives, on July 30, 2016, raided various gold mining sites to impound excavators and a pickup vehicle belonging to the Chinese woman that were being used for the illegal mining operation.

She and her assigns had degraded lands, destroyed cocoa farms and polluted water bodies in several communities in the Amansie area, and the national security, in an attempt to clamp down on her activities, raided the sites.

At Gyaaman village, the activities of the Chinese galamsey operator allegedly left six children dead after the victims drowned in open pits.

However, the Ashanti Regional Security Council, then headed by John Alexander Ackon found it expedient to release the four excavators and the Toyota pickup to the galamsey miner to the chagrin of the local residents and owners of the mining concessions, Volta Resources Limited.

Minister’s Explanation
The action followed a decision arrived at by members of the Security Council “to correct and streamline” what they considered to be a breach of “orthodox way and acceptably recognized rules of the REGSEC in relation to anti-galamsey operations.”

Even though the region’s former security liaison officer in the person of Enoch Amoako Nsiah authorised the seizure of the excavators, the minister returned them to Aisha.

The former minister explained that the Security Council in an attempt to establish leads, found it necessary to release the excavators to the owners in order to conduct proper investigation towards the clamp-down of the illegal mining activities in the region.

On July 30, 2016, some operatives of the National Security – with assistance from officers at the Asokwa Divisional Police Command in Kumasi– raided the Manso Tontokrom gold field to clamp down on activities of galamseyers.

The illegal miners, including members of Aisha’s group, reportedly fled from the scene upon seeing the police, leaving behind mining equipment and tools.

Two Chinese galamseyers, Chen Bingin 30, and Wu Xing Qiang 36, who were said to be working for the ‘untouchable’ woman, were also arrested after a chase, while ten excavators which they were using for the mining operation were seized by the combined team of security personnel.

Four of her assigns

Aisha Huang’s passport  

 

Source: moderghana.com

Forestry Commission to strengthen permit regime

The Forestry Commission says it is reviewing and strengthening its permit regime to effectively regulate the exploitation of Rosewood harvesting in line with the agreement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Deputy Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, told a press conference on Thursday that future extraction of all Rosewood would be based on the CITES approved yearly volume quota for the country.

He said the Commission would also be tasked to ensure domestic processing of Rosewood logs for value addition prior to export to overseas markets.

Mr Allottey said the review of the permits regime and the adoption of stringent measures in the industry were necessary to avoid utilisation levels that would negatively impact their survival.

He noted that all permits in respect of the harvesting, transport and export of Rosewood expired on the December 31, 2016 under a ‘stop-work’ order issued by the Commission, and that all existing agreements for the removal of trees from the Bui Dam enclave were revoked.

“Sector Ministry conducted investigation and revealed that large volumes of Rosewood were being harvested indiscriminately particularly in the three Northern Regions, which poses threats to the forest cover in the regions.”

He said as a result of that, the Minister placed a ban on the harvesting, transporting and exporting of Rosewood in the country, but reports indicated that the activity still persisted which aggravated the threat of environmental degradation and its effects.

He said the four companies, which were given permits under the Bui Dam agreement to remove trees within the enclave and fairways and had not settled their debts with the Bui Authorities would lose any existing stock recorded in their names.

Mr Allotey said in line with the earlier directive which was issued on February 10, 2017, a total of 361 containers of Rosewood belonging to different companies had been impounded and currently located at the ports and some wood depots across the country.

He said to decongest the port and depots, companies would be granted a one-off CITES permit to enable them dispose off their consignments in view of the fact they have already paid all statutory fees to the Commission.

He said all companies would be expected to pay appropriate penalties on consignments for flouting the December 30, 2016 ‘stop-work’ order, explaining that it was only after payment of the penalties that the Commission would grant clearance for CITES certificates to be issued to enable shipment of the exiting seized stocks.

Mr Allotey said the affected companies had been given a two-month notice to complete the exercise.

 

Source: Ghana business news

Catholic Father Fights Galamsey

By:  Sarah Afful, Jukwa

The priest in-charge of Jukwa Krobo Grotto Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast in the Central Region, Rev. Fr. David Obeng Paintsil, has stressed the need for all Christians and Muslims of good will in the country to offer prayers on the first Sunday and first Friday of every month respectively to end illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.

According to him, the government, the media and civil society cannot succeed in this campaign without prayers.

He indicated that the situation at hand is so complex that human efforts are not enough to combat it.

Rev Fr Paintsil made this observation at a press conference held in the area.

He stressed the need for all to pray for divine intervention to touch the hearts of both the big and ordinary men behind the business that has dire consequences on the environment and life.

“This would also give the government and the media the will power and the spirit of perseverance to end the canker as well as give spiritual protection to all who were involved in this campaign, especially the sector minister and the media,” he said.

Rev Fr Paintsil entreated pastors and Imams to educate the youth on the hazards of the galamsey menace, and the effect of illegal mining activities in the country.

He noted that the government would get a lasting and sustainable solution to this national problem if people make up their minds to help save the lands and water bodies for the sake of posterity.

“This current state of the galamsey menace has depleted the hitherto rich farming lands and water bodies and one can no longer rely on the natural rivers for water consumption since they have been poisoned by dangerous chemicals from the activities of galamsey,” he lamented.

The priest added that there had been several attempts by successive governments and civil society organizations to deal with the menace in various ways but all such attempts landed on rocks.

Rev Fr Paintsil noted that the current campaign launched by the media and the government is in the right direction.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Gov’t suspends Chinese mining firm’s operations in Talensi

By: Fredrick Awuni, citifmonline.com

The government has temporarily suspended the operations of Shaanxi Ghana Mining Company Limited operating in Gbane in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

According to a letter signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, the suspension is to allow for thorough investigations into the company’s underground operations, and the alleged death of about seven miners in the area.

As a result, 500 permanent workers of the company have been asked to go home until further notice, while 52 workers are currently ensuring care and maintenance of the company’s mining shafts.

Speaking to Citi News in Gbane, the frustrated employees described the decision by the sector minister as unfair, cautioning the joblessness may led to social vices in the area.

An employee, Elizabeth Yinnama, said, “we are  appealing to government to come to our aid, if not when we will go back to our various homes, and we may turn to armed robbery because going home, I don’t think I can survive because I don’t have anything to do; but the Galamsey workers are not helping anyone in this community.”

Miss Salina Amaze, a geologist also sided with the employees, saying “workers of Shaanxi cannot allow Galamsey intruders to let government close down the company, it will affect me and my colleagues.”

But at a press conference in Gbane, Shaanxi mining company’s Underground Mine Manager, Thomas Tii Yenzanya, said even though they have complied with the minister’s directive, efforts should be put in place to protect their shafts  from being exploited by the Galamsey miners pending the outcome of the investigations.

Mr. Yenzanya said all mining operations of the company have been suspended except for care and maintenance works.

“There will be loss of production, there will be more intrusion into the area by the illegal miners because they will be mining underground chopping the pillars, stealing the gold ore and probably destroying our equipment but it’s a directive.”

Shaanxi Mining Company Reacts to Allegations

Citi News can confirm that, the Yenyeya and Pubortaaba small scale mining groups for which Shaanxi mining company is rendering support mining services to, were licensed on the 7th January 2007 and 9th October 2009 respectively by the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals commission of Ghana.

Underground Mine Manager of Shaanxi mining company, Mr. Yenzanya provided documentation for the payments of employees’ SSNIT up to April, 2017.

He indicated that, the company has fulfilled its tax and royalties obligation since its operations with enormous corporate social responsibility projects ranging from boreholes, schools, bridges and scholarships for needy but brilliant students in the area.

Mr. Yenzanga denied allegations that, the company’s blasting takes place unannounced, adding that, blasting time is between 10:00 pm to 12:00 am. He also added that, workers were sacked following due processes.

Meanwhile, investigations have commenced into the circumstances that led to the deaths of about seven illegal miners who were reported to have been trapped by smoke from one of the Shaanxi mining shafts on the 7th of April 2017.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Chinese gov’t is backing galamsey fight – Lands Minister

By: Austin Brako-Powers , Myjoyonline.com

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu says the Chinese government is in full support of Ghana’s efforts to end illegal mining known as galamsey.

He said the Xi Jinping government has given its backing for punitive measures to be meted out to Chinese nationals who are caught engaging in illegal mining in Ghana.

Speaking at Joy FM’s Thought Leadership dialogue on galamsey Friday, Mr Amewu said the President Akufo-Addo government will continue to collaborate with civil society groups to clamp down on the practice.

Chinese President Xi Jinping
The anti-galamsey campaign has been gathering momentum days after the Lands Ministry’s three-weeks ultimatum served miners to end their activities elapsed.

As part of activities to consolidate gains made since the start of the campaign in February 2017, the Lands Minister has been leading a delegation of mine officials to tour some illegal mining sites.

Some galamseyers at work
Available data at the Lands Ministry reveals a total of about 500 excavators used for illegal mining have been handed over to government by some of the operators.

The campaign was triggered by the destruction caused Ghana’s water bodies and forest reserves through galamsey activities. The Tano River in the Brong Ahafo Region, that serves several communities, has dried up for the first time in 40 years.

Some Ghanaians and their Chinese counterparts mining in the River Ankobrah in Western Region

The Brim and Densu Rivers in the Eastern Region and Ankobrah River in the Western Region have been muddied to an extent that experts have estimated it will cost more money for them to be treated for consumption.

Information available indicates some of the people found to be engaging in the practice are Ghanaians and Chinese. At least five Chinese and their Ghanaian counterparts are standing trial for mining in the Ankobrah River in the Western Region.

The five Chinese standing trial for allegedly mining in the Ankobrah River

The Chinese community in Ghana has expressed dissatisfaction with media reportage on galamsey, saying its people are being unfairly targeted.

In a letter to the Lands Ministry, officials of the Chinese mission said the campaign against galamsey could hamper bilateral relationship between the two countries if attacks on its citizens are not stopped.

The Lands Minister inspecting extent of damage to one of Ghana’s water bodies

In the heat of the campaign, reports were rife that the Chinese government has directed its Immigration Department to unfairly scrutinise travelling documents of Ghanaian businessmen and women at their airports because of the galamsey clamp down.

But the Lands Minister said President Akufo-Addo has communicated with Chinese President, Xi Jinping over the anti-galamsey activities and he has given his support.

A miner caught mining in the Western Region
“The Chinese government totally agrees with the government that any foreigner that misbehaves, they have [to be dealt with],” Mr Amewu said.

The Minister advised the media to exercise circumspection in their reportage since any Chinese accosted for engaging in illegal mining is an individual and not their government. “We should be careful,” he cautioned.

“We will continue to chase recalcitrant people who will not conform to sustainable environmental mining,” he warned.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Galamsey returning – Segyimase, Akrofusu residents express fears

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa, citifmonline.com

Reports from Segyimase near Kyebi in the East Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region indicate that illegal mining activities are gradually resurfacing.

These indications come some three weeks after the deadline of the nationwide ultimatum from government ordering the cessation of illegal mining activities, known locally as galamsey.

Residents have been complaining that the illegal miners have flouted the government’s orders, and the Assembly Member for the area, Emmanuel Akyeanor Tabi, expressed fears that  the miners have no intention of leaving the sites they operate on.

He explained that, the mining area in question was under a legal concession, but he alleged that the concessionaire had been leasing out land to the illegal miners.

Narrating to Citi News, Akyeanor Tabi said “the genesis of the whole thing is that, the place is under concession, but they released it to galamsey miners. So they [the illegal miners] were doing galamsey, they destroyed the water bodies, they mined without reclaiming and all kind of things.”

“So the Minerals Commission revoked that license temporarily, pending the concessionaire’s ability to reclaim all the land and dredge the rivers destroyed, and then they will see if they will be able reallocate the license to him.”

But Mr. Akyeanor Tabi said the concessionaire is yet to adhere to the Minerals Commission’s directive and has gone on to “bring in new galamsey operators who are working in the concession. They have paid the concessionaire and the concessionaire has asked them to come back and work.”

The effects of illegal mining in Kyebi as a whole have been well documented with the shutdown of the Ghana Water Company treatment plant at Kyebi in March 2017.

Kyebi was left with a single borehole as its water treatment plant shut down

The River Birim which feeds the Kyebi treatment plant is in a sorry state

The treatment plant, which takes water from the Birim River flowing from the Atiwa Forest, is seen to be heavly polluted by illegal gold mining activities.

Akrofusu calls for more security
The fear of a return of illegal mining extends to the Akrofusu electoral in the Atiwa District, where the Assembly member of that area, Kwaku Nyarko, complained to Citi News that illegal mining with heavy equipment was still ongoing.

This is despite the efforts of security personnel in the area, according to the Assemblyman, who said, “the galamsey situation at my end is still going on, especially with the chanfang and excavator, and chanfang miners who are in the river.”

“We ordered men from the Anyinam district, and we took up some operations; but immediately after the operation, they started working again… the police are still embarking on the operation, but they wait and work in the night.”

In light of the security struggles, Mr. Nyarko said government, “should bring more men so that we will be able to combat the galamsey people from there.”

Minerals Commission believes galamsey has almost stopped

These concerns come on the back of the Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, saying that illegal small-scale mining activities were close to zero in the country following the intense media campaign and government action.

According to him, there were clear indications that illegal miners have suspended their operations and vacated their sites after government intervention.

Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn

Speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News’ Pointblank segment, Dr. Tony Aubynn said “when the ultimatum was given weeks ago, we were all waiting to see what will happen, but at the end of it, when we went round to the places, we saw virtually no mining activity going on, almost total cessation. By and large, there was no mining, and what we also saw was that, a lot of excavators, a lot of them had been parked. For now, we have seen that it [galamsey] has stopped,” he said.

 

Source: modernghana.com

BNI Names Galamsey Kingpins

By: Thomas Fosu Jnr

BT Baba

BT Baba

Investigations conducted by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) into illegal mining activities, popularly called ‘galamsey,’ have indicted some prominent politicians, chiefs and military kingpins who are alleged to be the brains behind most of such illegal mining activities across the country.

DAILY GUIDE has not independently verified the personalities named in the report, but the 20-page report cited by Joy FM leaks aspects of the BNI investigative report, which allegedly names some of the politicians as Benson Baba Tongo, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Talensi in the Upper East Region (UER) who it is claimed, is behind galamsey activities in the Talensi constituency.

Meanwhile, Mr BT Baba has debunked the national security confidential report.

The lawmaker and sports administrator has admitted owning a small-scale mine in the Upper East Region and engaging in same but said his documents are completely legal.

Ghana’s laws allow small-scale mining but a number of the small-scale miners are deemed to be engaging in galamsey which has polluted river bodies in Ghana, destroyed farm lands and the environment in general.

Another person named by the BNI is Bunyak Kolog, an alleged financier of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Talensi constituency, who was also reported as financing galamsey activities in the UER, while an unnamed official at the Precious Minerals Office at Bolgatanga, the regional capital of UER, was also found to be financing galamsey activities in towns such as Gbane, Blung and Datoku – all in the Talensi District.

The BNI report said that prominent chiefs in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region are also actively behind galamsey in the district.

In towns like Adieworsu, Jumako, Abura, Tonru and Mempeasem, chiefs and elders are said to be actively involved in galamsey.

According to the report, the chief of Bokorkope in the Shama District of Western Region, Nana Issah Muni, is said to have acquired a concession from the Minerals Commission and the Shama District Assembly under the pretext of winning sand, but ended up using it for illegal mining activities.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bupong Construction Limited at Twifo Praso in the Central Region, Prince John Baidoo, has also been indicted in the report.

The BNI said the CEO is engaged in alluvial and surface illegal mining in the Twifo Praso, Beposo, Sekyere-Krobo, Sekyere-Didieso, Basase and Sekyere-Nsuta areas of the Central and the Western Regions.

There were only two regions that the report said did not have cases of illegal mining activities.

Checks conducted in the Volta and the Greater Accra Regions revealed that there were no illegal mining activities there.

The BNI report comes at a time pressure continues to mount on the current Nana Akufo-Addo administration to clamp down on illegal mining activities that are responsible for the pollution of the country’s water bodies and the environment in general.

Ghana is losing its water bodies and forest reserves due to ‘galamsey.’

From the Western Region right to the Eastern Region, water bodies that serve as the major sources of drinking water for residents have been polluted, with the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) complaining bitterly about the increasing cost of treating polluted water for consumption by the public.

Since the start of efforts to end the practice, some gains have been made. Available data at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources reveal that a total of 500 excavators used by some illegal miners have been handed over to the government.

The Minerals Commission has also said there has been a reduction in the quantity of gold that is traded by natives.

The BNI report revealed that there is growing dissatisfaction with government’s campaign to clamp down on galamsey.

“The directives given to illegal miners to stop mining activities within three weeks by John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, received mixed reactions from illegal miners, residents of communities affected by activities of miners and the public,” the report indicated.

It cited the claim by some youth in the Brong-Ahafo Region that government’s directive is not a sustainable measure in combating the menace.

Apart from the backlash of the effort to stop the galamsey activities, the report said efforts to end the practice have also received widespread commendation.

“The general public was also unanimous in condemning collusion and involvement of some chiefs, politicians and security personnel,” it pointed out.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Citi FM petitions Parliament over galamsey [Photos]

Citi FM on Friday presented its #StopGalamseyNow petition to Parliament in a bid to secure the legislative body’s support for the fight against illegal mining in the country.

The Petition which was submitted by Director of News Programming and host of the Citi Breakfast Show, Bernard Koku Avle was received by the leadership of Parliament led by the Majority and Minority Leaders, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu respectively.

Citi FM in the petition urged Parliament to take up the galamsey fight and put pressure on the executive and other stakeholders to stop the menace.

“We are praying Parliament to use the petition to cause some work to be done and recommend what government should do decisively on this menace. This is a lot of media partners, CSO coming together with Citi FM being the prominent one praying Parliament to take up the galamsey fight,” said Bernard Avle.

The Majority Leader in receiving the petition commended Citi FM for taking up the fight.

“Galamsey operations are contributing to the wanton destruction to the natural resources of this country. Lands are being destroyed, water bodies are being destroyed and minerals are being stolen. The constitution provides that all natural resources in this country shall be vested in the President. The President holds them in trust on behalf of the people of this country. What is happening now is that whatever they gain they smuggle away from this country and the country doesn’t benefit in anyway apart from the havoc that is being caused in the environment.”

“People who farm are denied their farms leading to the rising of poverty in the country. Water bodies are contaminated and today it takes about four to five times the cost of purifying water in those areas there is galamsey activities and there are times that they are unable to treat the water due to the chemical content and that is a dangerous thing that is going to happen to this country. So I think as a country we should unite behind this clarion call…every one of us is affected and in particular generations yet unborn.”

For his part, Haruna Iddrisu described the #StopGalamseyNow campaign as “bold and courageous initiative.”

He further urged Citi FM and his partners not to give up on the fight against the menace.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Galamsey operators support measures to address menace

By Lydia Asamoah, GNA
Accra, April 7, GNA – A group of Illegal miners (galamsey operators) from the Western Region have called on Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, to express their readiness to assist government in addressing the menace of galamsey.

The group, who were made up of members from Amanfi East, Amanfi West, Amanfi Central and Prestea Huni- Valley districts, mining operators, was led by Nana Ntori Bonkyi Akomea and Nana Asafotse Badu both from Amanfi East District.

The Group said they were also concerned about the devastation to water bodies and the forest lands as well as appreciated the public outcry over the situation and therefore supported efforts at finding solutions.

Nana Akomea on behalf of the group said they were ready to collaborate with government to regulate activities of small-scale miners and illegal operators and to ensure that they operated within the confines of the law.

He said they supported the idea of a moratorium, a period of time where everybody would be made to lay down their mining tools and to be made part of addressing the menace.

‘We are ready to halt all activities of mining in the communities, to allow all stakeholders to come together to repair the damages by covering abandoned pits left uncovered whilst reclaiming the land through afforestation and tree planting,’ he said.

Nana Akomea suggested that all those who mined in the rivers and along the river banks should be stopped but those who operated on the land within the confines of the law should be supported and their capacities be built to enable them operate in the right way.

‘We all know that gold cannot be left under the ground, it needs to be mined so we are pleading that we should be helped to do it in the right way,’ he said.

Nana Badu on his part called on government to look at the licensing regime in granting mining concession to individuals and organisations and decentralised it at the district levels to ensure that all operators were granted appropriate licenses, and were monitored to see that they operated under the rules of engagements.

He said indeed there were about some four million people in the country who benefited from galamsey operations both directly and indirectly, and that it should not be disregarded at all but that they should be assisted to do the right things in the right ways.

The group also appealed to government to assist them form taskforces to monitor their colleagues in doing the rights things in the mining sector.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng appreciated the efforts by the operators in helping find solutions to the menace, saying, that it was critical to protect and preserve the water bodies and to recover the lands.

He said he would send their concerns and appeals to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take a decision on the way forward.

He said the government would also collaborate with the local communities to recover the lands through tree planting exercises after the land had been recovered.

 

Source: modernghana.com