300 River Guards Begin Training Against Galamsey
At least, 100 persons drawn from various parts of the country have begun a-month-long training as part of efforts to protect the country’s river bodies from illegal mining, otherwise called ‘galamsey.’
The 100 personnel, which comprise 97 males and three females, were officially handed over to the Eastern Naval Command by the deputy chief executive officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Samuel Tika,last Friday, September 23, to undergo the training.
In all, 300 persons are expected to undergo the training in three batches.
Addressing the trainees, Commodore Emmanuel Ayesu Kwafo, the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, detailed the scope of the training.
He explained that by the end of their training, the river guards will be equipped with skills in speedboat operation and swimming, among others.
He charged the trainees to treat the drills with the seriousness it deserves so as to implement them effectively when they pass out.
Commodore Emmanuel Ayesu Kwafo disclosed that the Ghana Navy is setting up a rivery command that will work with the river guards to clampdown on galamsey on river bodies.
He said, “The Ghana Navy itself is forming a rivery command so that after this training, we will support you to fight galamsey operations. For the next one month, we are going to give you some basic and essential skills that you’ll need out there.”
“Swimming is one of the skills we will give you. We will show you what to do when the water is deep and how to deal with mining pits. We will teach how to detect the place and how to give reports and feedbacks,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the sector minister, the deputy chief executive of the Minerals Commission in charge of operations, Mr. Samuel Tika, said the training forms part of government’s multi-faceted approach to the fight against illegal mining.
He noted, “They have been specially selected to be trained to work on the areas of our country affected by galamsey activities. The Minerals Commission is not against mining but we want people to go through the due process. We have a lot of people around who are not following due process and are mining in ways that is polluting our river bodies and posing health threats to the public.
“The government thought it very wise to as part of the measures we are adopting against illegal mining to employ you so that you can help check these illegalities. You’ll be training on how to swim, be disciplined so that you will help Ghana to clean our river bodies,” he said.
When they passed out, the trainees will be deployed to the various river bodies to provide permanent patrolling on those river bodies.
Government has earlier this year purchased some speedboats to aid in the fight against illegal mining.