Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has expressed concern about some key stakeholders who are thwarting government efforts in fighting illegal mining, commonly known as galamsey.
According to the Minister, traditional rulers, District Security Councils, Mineral Commission officials, and regional authorities should be blamed for the worsening state of illegal mining in Ghana.
Irrespective of enforcement efforts by the government, such stakeholders appear to be aiding the illegal activities.
It is against this reason why the sector minister said the galamsey situation will not improve if people in mining communities do not help authorities in addressing the menace as vast lands and water bodies have been destroyed.
The activities of these illegal miners are very visible in various mining communities, as the level of devastation speaks volumes.
Giving example of such destruction by using the Manso Datano case as an example when speaking at the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources 40th Anniversary celebration of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Samuel Abdulai Jinapor mentioned it is curiously obvious that various stakeholders such as chiefs, and district and regional authorities among others have been aiding the activities.
He said “I come from a palace and I can say without a shred of equivocation that in most cases, no one, and I repeat, no one can bring a chain saw to harvest in the forest or an excavator to mine in the bush or chanfang to work on a river body in a community without the knowledge, acquiescence or passive approval somehow of the Chief, Elders, the assemblymen, opinion leaders and or local authorities in the community. We have to begin to be blunt about this situation on our hands. It is the honest truth and, sadly for me, I am having to say it and do so publicly. Ladies and gentlemen, you may have heard that on Thursday 29th September 2022 on behalf of the president of the republic, I paid a working visit to our men and women in uniform–the operation halt two team in Manso Datano in the Amansie South District.”
”I was shocked by what I saw. Almost a whole community has been created in the heart of the forest with poultry and goat rearing, beds, a kitchen, and bathrooms among others. The devastation must have been occasioned by years, if not decades of destruction. The question I ask is, how could this have happened on the blind side of the Chief, elders, assemblymen, unit committee members, district police commander, district chief executive, district officers of the minerals commission, forestry commission, environmental protection agency and the members of the community? I do not seem to tarnish the reputation of any person or institution, but I dare say that even regional authorities may not be able to escape from this particular situation and feign ignorance of it”.
The minister is therefore calling for all hands on deck to address the galamsey menace, devoid of partisanship.
By Vincent Kubi