Eight Burkinabe illegal miners arrested
Eight Burkinabe illegal miners have been arrested at Wa East by a combined team of police and soldiers led by the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Ephraim Avea Nsoh, during an operation to some mining sites.
They are Abdul Rashid Lengam, 18, Abdul Alidu Adam, 30, Jampo Nuhu, 29, Jampo Ayuba, 18, and Ali Abdul Aziz, 18, Bukari Dabiri, 46, Asafo Dauda, 24, and Musah Adam, 30.
According to them, they buy the tailings from the illegal miners and use sinade, a (chemical used in extracting gold) on them and recycle them to extract gold.
The Burkinabe mentioned one Sulemana Issah as a local agent, who brought them to the site while their main sponsor is one Dabiri Braimah, also a Burkinabe.
Dr. Nsoh was not happy about the extent of damage caused to the environment and the risk that the people face as the result of the activities of the illegal miners in the communities.
He said the Burkinabes would be treated in accordance with ECOWAS protocol and the laws of Ghana.
He appealed to members of ECOWAS to respect and abide by the laws of the ECOWAS Protocol.
He said government would not allow people to come to Ghana and take the law into their hands by indulging in activities that were detrimental to the lives of the people.
Dr. Nsoh said the Regional Security Council and other stakeholders would bring sustained pressure to bear on those who had made illegal mining in the region their business.
The Upper West Deputy Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr. Duku Ampofo said the Regional Security Council would take a decision on the Burkinabes after the Police had finished their investigations.
The Wa East District, which hitherto was grappling with issues of underdevelopment, now has to deal with environmental challenges following the invasion of illegal miners (galamsey).
Following government’s directive to flash out illegal miners whose activities have degraded the environment and polluted water resources in the southern parts of Ghana, many of them had now found the Wa East District a safe place to carry out their operations.
Gold exploring concessions belonging to Azumah Resources Limited, Castle Minerals and Carlie Minerals, all in the Wa East District had been taken over by illegal miners whose activities were impacting negatively on the environment and water bodies.
At the Bulenga site, the team found no miner but many of the pits left open had started caving in while others were full of water and served as traps to the people and their animals.
The tour also took the Minister and the team to a site at Danyawkura where serious environmental degradation had taken place as result of activities of the miners.
New mining site were also discovered but the miners could not be found. However large quantities of stones (gold ore) were found yet to be crashed into powder form to extract the gold.
A search in a house at Danyawkura led to the seizure of jaricans of patrol and some quantities of activated carbon used in gold extraction.
The team also visited a site where the stones contain in the gold ore were crashed and gold extracted but the miners were nowhere to be found. Some machines and other property belonging to them were taken away.