In spite of its complexity and the extreme difficulty in dealing with illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, the government’s intervention to deal with the menace is yielding positive results as the turbidity of the Ankobra River has improved significantly.
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources responsible for mines, George Mireku Duker, made the observation that the return of the Ankobra River and other waterbodies to their pure status and turbidity improving significantly, was a reflection of the strides made by government’s fight against illegal mining.
On a tour of the Ankobra River, Mr Mireku Duker indicated that progress made in the turbidity level of the waterbodies is indicative of the fact that the anti-galamsey fight is yielding results.
He therefore lauded efforts of the various stakeholders and the citizenry for their respective roles in the fight against illegal mining.
The Deputy Minister maintained that government will not take its foot off the pedal and will press on with the measures that have resulted in the gains made so far.
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.
He urged all individuals, traditional rulers, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and the general public to join forces with government in its bid to protect the waterbodies.
He reiterated government’s aversion on 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 stated.
For his part, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzo, said the people of Ellembelle will not sit aloof and watch others destroy their livelihoods.
DCE for Nzema East, Dorcas Amoah, also commended government for the Community Mining scheme in the area. She disclosed that many lives have been impacted positively by the innovative mining scheme.