We won’t relent in fighting galamsey – Abu Jinapor
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, says government is fully committed to fighting against illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
He said despite the numerous challenges hindering the fight against the menace, government would fight relentlessly to bring sanity in the small-scale mining industry.
The Minister was speaking at Datano in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region, when he led a team from the ministries of Information, and Lands and Forestry, to visit the Operation Halt II Team in the area.
He expressed satisfaction with the work done so far by the taskforce, led by the General Officer Commanding the Central Command, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour, and assured them of government’s support.
The military had been able to clear the site of illegal miners, demolished their infrastructure, and brought their operations to a halt, Mr Jinapor said.
The team arrested some illegal miners and seized excavators and other mining equipment, which were handed over to the police.
The Minister said the operation aimed at exposing the complexities involved in the illegal mining business.
He expressed surprise that the activities of those illegal miners could elude the security apparatus within the district, the traditional and local authorities, and mine inspectors.
“All of you can see the level of devastation, it should baffle all of us as citizens, policy-makers and as stakeholders in this fight, how an operation like this in the heart of the forest and in the far away areas of our country can go on without notice by the police, the chiefs, local political leadership and even the inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission here…”
“ These are questions I, as the Minister, intend to seek answers to,” Mr Jinapor said.
He reminded Ghanaians that the fight against galamsay was a collective one, requiring the co-operation of all citizens, particularly the members of the local communities, to ensure its success.
Brigadier General Aphour said six excavators were ceased and three were destroyed.
He commended the Minister for the visit and expressed optimism that with government’s support and that of the residents, they could come to grips with the menace.
The Minister later held a meeting with regional ministers and metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives from mining endemic areas across the country.
He charged them to take responsibility of leading the fight against illegal mining in their various jurisdictions.
“The fight can only be won if local leaders rally behind the Central Government”, he said.
He asked the regional and district security councils, headed by the regional ministers, as well as the MMDCEs to enforce the law to stem the menace.