Galamsey: Ankobra River, forest reserves still under siege, Armed Forces worried

A recent operation by the Ghana Armed Forces has shown that illegal miners are still operating covertly further causing damages to the country’s forest reserves and river bodies

After the intense war against illegal mining popularly known as “Galamsey”, it appears the efforts are not paying off as illegal miners continue to pillage forest reserves and pollute water bodies for gold.

A special operation by the Ghana Armed Forces saw how the forest and river bodies including the Ankobra River have come under siege following the invasion of illegal miners.

General Michael Amoah Ayisi, General Officer Commanding the Southern Command Brigadier who led the operation was visibly shocked at the level of devastation.

“… we thought that with all the efforts since May, by now things would have taken shape and you saw the river bodies improving over the period. But for them to go back, it means people are still operating with that impunity and we are not going to allow them to do that. We are going to work assiduously to ensure that the red zones are free of any illegal activity…”

Listen to General Amoah Ayisi in the audio below:

The three-day operation conducted at red zones in the Central and Western Regions led to the arrest of 26 illegal miners and mining equipment seized.

General officer, Commanding the Southern Command Brigadier General Michael Amoah Ayisi wants authorities to intensify public education and compliance to fight the menace.

Meanwhile, the government has intensified its fight against illegal mining by adopting technological innovations to monitor mining equipment and concessions. 

To this end, the government has developed a digital portal known as “Medaase Mining Ghana” which has a QR Code detailing the location and sizes of mining concessions across the country.

The government will also from January next year fix tracking devices on all mining excavators while the Minerals Commission has created a situational room to monitor the movement of these excavators to ensure they operate within certified mining concessions.

A deputy minister in charge of Mines at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker announced this at a media briefing in Accra on Wednesday (8 December) to update the public on the government’s fight against illegal mining.

According to him, any mining excavator that moves out of a mining concession would be de-activated unless a tangible explanation is given before its re-activation.

“These licences, displayed in the offices of these concessioners. Sometimes they either lock the office and bolt or even get security to prevent you from entering the office. So, in view of that, what we’ve done is to create a signpost out of the signpost.

“A QR code is generated, as it is being shown to you. A skill is put on the QR code, then the details of that concession will be displayed and you will know whether it is a legal concession or not. So, there wouldn’t be any need of you, wanting to enter the offices of that concession,” he stated.

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