Task-force on illegal sand, stone mining inaugurated in Koforidua

A 15-member task force on illegal sand and stone mining in the Eastern Region had been inaugurated in Koforidua on Thursday.

The task-force comprises representatives of the sand and stones contractors association, the Police, the Military, the Minerals Commission, Regional Security Council, (REGSEC) and the District Security Council (DISEC).

The Acting  Eastern Regional  Chief Mine Inspector, Mr Stephen Piedu, said illegal mining activities in the Region had become a major problem confronting society in recent times and called on all stakeholders to join hands to bring the situation under control.

He said mineral deposits in Ghana, were vested in the state and that no individual, organization, group of people or ethnic group could claim ownership.

Mr Piedu said it behooves on all meaningful Ghanaians to be responsible and help the state agencies to fight illegal mining activities in order to save the environment for generations yet to come.

He advised members of the task force not to allow themselves to be influenced by anybody and focus on the main functions assigned them in order to get rid of illegal activities.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi, in an address read on his behalf, expressed concern about the rate at which the environment was being degraded.

He said illegal mining and logging by some unpatriotic Ghanaians was seriously damaging the biodiversity of the country which was the life support system for the people.

The Regional Minister said several measures had been put in place to combat those illegal activities, but had all yielded minimum results.

He said the deterioration and degradation of the environment had further been compounded by illegal sand and stone winning.

Dr Apea-Kubi said though sand and stone winning had economic importance, the method of mining and winning without putting in place measures to replenish the land was another environmental battle to be fought by government and all stakeholders.

He therefore cautioned members of the task force to be circumspect in the discharge of their duties in order to help bring the situation under control.

The Regional minister asked that the task force be given free hands to operate without any political interference.

He appealed to Municipal and District Assemblies to enact bye-laws to check all illegal activities that tend to destroy and degrade the environment.

Source: GNA

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