Mr John Peter Amewu, Minister of Lands and Forestry, has launched the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) at Kwahu-Mpreaso in the Eastern Region to holistically tackle the issue of illegal mining and bring sanity in the sector.
The MMIP is built on a three-prong approach involving the provision of the law, enforcement of the law, and technology to ensure transparency and sustainable mining.
Under technology, there would be the application of the use of drone and tracking devices for monitoring of the mining sites to ensure that the miners undertook mining in a sustainable way.
The MMIP, being rolled out in partnership with the Mineral Commission of Ghana, is a five-year project that seeks to involve all Ghanaian stakeholders in the mining sector, in an elaborate programme aimed at sanitising the sector.
As part of the Kwahuman Easter celebrations, the Ministry of Lands and Forestry decided to launch the MMIP in the region which is well noted for illegal mining also known as galamsey activities.
The launch was heralded with a float through the municipalities of Mpreaso and Obome with floaters holding placards some of which read: “Life is more Precious than Gold”, “Help End Galamsey now”, “Stop Illegal Mining”, “Think Right, Mine Right, Live Right”, “Value Life not Gold”, “Engage in Sustainable Mining”, “Preserve our Water Bodies”, and “Preserve our Rich Forests”.
Mr Amewu said the MMIP campaign was being outdoored as part of the fight against Galamsey, which was announced a few weeks ago with a declaration of a three-week ultimatum by the Ministry for all who were engaged in illegal mining to put a stop to their activities.
He said at the end of declaration on Saturday April 15, much results had been yielded with most of the miners abandoning their concessions and removing their equipment including from the sites.
He said visits to some mining concessions in the Western and Eastern Regions revealed that over 100 excavators which had been taken away from the mining sites and indications were that over 200 excavators had been withdrawn from various sites all over the country.
The Minister, who was accompanied by his two Deputies, explained that government was not against small-scale mining but rather against illicit mining that had led to the destruction of many of the water bodies and forest lands.
Mr Amewu however stated that, there were extensive plans to reclaim abandoned and destroyed lands, while plans were also in place to restore the polluted water bodies.
Mr Tony Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission who accompanied the Minister, said the campaign against illegal mining was about the future generation and so all must support the efforts to sanitise mining in the country.
He said under the MMIP, alternative livelihoods involving the cultivation of oil palm plantations in Prestea Huni-Valley in the Western Region and in Dunkwa in the Central region would be provided to galamsey operators.