The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, has called for a concerted effort to help prevent illegal foreign gold miners from operating in the country.
Speaking to the G N A, the Minister agreed with the general concern that the influx of Chinese and other nationals to our mining areas is a grave national issue.
Mr Ampofo said the assemblies alone cannot win the war unless landowners, the security, the regulatory agencies as well as the local residents work in tandem to stem the disturbing situation.
He said what is worrying is that some unpatriotic persons in the country do front for these foreign miners for selfish gains and do not care about the effect of their actions on the entire nation.
Mr Ampofo said the efforts of the assemblies and government were also being continuously undermined by some greedy chiefs and other landowners who often do not take into consideration the damage to the country’s resources and environment.
“As a Minister in the Eastern Region, I once did order the regional security to arrest some galamsey operators and successfully seized their machines but all the court could do was to fine the perpetrators only GH¢200.00, and in a short while the culprits went back with full vigor to do their own thing and destroy the environment with impunity,” he said.
Mr Ampofo called on all stakeholders to come together to help find solutions to this canker that is destroying the country’s environment and the livelihoods of the citizenry.