Fight Against Irresponsible Mining Yielding Results
The relentless national campaign against illegal mining, otherwise called “galamsey,” is yielding some positive results, as the quality of some water bodies along certain mining communities is beginning to improve.
The Anchor has observed that, some areas of the Ankobra River, which was heavily polluted some months ago as a result of the activities of illegal miners in the Western Region, have started regaining their natural state.
Particularly, the Nzema East portion of the river, which had turned milky-brown, with high turbidity because of galamsey activities, has now cleared up and gaining back its natural colour, as some tourists and locals were spotted in a canoe cruising.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Mines, George Mireku Duker,who has been at the forefront leading the charge against the menace, said that the success isa reflection of resilient strides made by government.
For him, the progress made in the turbidity level of the waterbodies is indicative of the fact that the anti-galamsey fight is yielding results.
Addressing the media after a visit to the Ankobra River to check on its current state, which is fast regaining its natural and clean status, on Thursday, February 16, 2023, the deputy minister commended the various stakeholders for their respective roles in the fight against the menace.
While commending the various agencies and Ghanaians for their efforts, Mr. Mireku Duker, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP)Tarkwa Nsuaem, maintained that government will not take its foot off the pedal, but will press on with the measures that have resulted in the gains made so far.
“I am highly elated to state that, the turbidity level of River Ankobra is very much better as compared to some few months ago. I commend all stakeholders in the region for ensuring this milestone which needs to be sustained,” he stated.
He noted that the training of river wardens to complement the Operation Halt II taskforce is another laudable initiative by government that has contributed significantly to the liberation of waterbodies from galamsey operations.
“Interventions ranging from establishment of community mining schemes, revitalizing District Mining Committees, Deployment of Minerals Cadastral System and, most importantly, the training and deployment of river wardens have contributed significantly towards achieving this success,” he told journalists.
He urged all individuals, especially chiefs, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and the public to join forces with government in its bid to protect the waterbodies.
He reiterated government’s aversion to the ban of small-scale mining and expressed that government, through the Community Mining Scheme (CMS) and other innovations, will transform the small-scale mining sector.
“We should take full responsibility of protecting Ghana’s river bodies. We have roles to play including MMDCEs and we must all commit to protecting our waterbodies.
“There are suggestions for government to close down small-scale mining activities, but we are aware of the number of job opportunities created in the small-scale mining sector,” he noted.
On his part, the DCE for Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzo, said the people of Ellembelle will not sit down aloof and watch others destroy their livelihoods.
Dorcas Amoah, the DCE for Nzema East, commended the government for the community mining scheme in the area, revealing that many lives have been impacted positively by the innovative mining scheme.
The deputy minister was accompanied on the tour by Mr. Peter Awuah, Technical Director of Mines, the Ellembelle DCE and the Nzema-East MCE,as well as other officials.