Notorious Galamsey Gangs Polluting Tano River Grabbed!
A number of recalcitrant illegal miners operating along the Tano River in the Western Region have been arrested, following a three-day operation led by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, in an Operation Halt II, swoop.
The swoop, which was undertaken to clear illegal miners off the Tano River, saw arrest of some 26 individuals including illegal sand winners and chainsaw operators at various illegal mining sites; whiles their machines and mining equipment were seized and set ablaze.
The operation jointly led by the Commander of the Operation Halt II, Brigadier-General Amoah Ayisi, happened on Monday, May 23, 2022 and saw the team visit mining areas such as Samreboi, Wassa Dunkwa, Patasi through to Asankragwa, all under the Western Region.
Addressing the media at Wassa Dunkwa after the operation, the Deputy Minister commended the military for the swift action and, condemned the negative activities of the illegal miners.
According to him, government will not relent on the fight against the illegal mining, but will continue to fight against the menace which has become a burden on state coffers.
While emphasizing on the need for miners to mine within the environmentally acceptable standard, George Mireku Duker reiterated government’s commitment to clamp-down on illegal small-scale mining, to protect river bodies.
“We are not saying don’t mine, but mine responsibly. If you come and they give you a kind of permit, you will be allowed to mine. You cannot also mine where we are having a river body diverted; so it’s very unfortunate that we experience these things and we will not relent on our efforts to clampdown these illegal miners.”
“We must resolve the matter now. What the Ministry is going ahead to do is to have River wardens where people would be permanently placed along the river banks to be patrolling. The military will intermittently move around to see if people are mining and they will be arrested. So it’s not something that we are going to stop”, he added.
He said; “We are moving around the river bodies making sure that people don’t mine in the river bodies. Unfortunately, we saw people mining, and some people were also caught winning sand; the reason being that they are using it for other purposes.”
“Obviously, they were not having any documents, but because they were not mining and also winning sand not at the bank of the river but elsewhere, we have to let them put the sand back because we will be using that for the reclamation assignment.”
“For the miners, interestingly, the moment they saw the military some run away and we couldn’t get anybody arrested, but obviously their mining equipment have been duly destroyed and I am happy with the method the military is using now. We need to get them out of the river bodies. Let’s protect our river bodies and together we must resolve as Ghanaians to protect our river bodies” he said.
Source: The Anchor