Savannah Regional Minister, Saeed Muhazu Jibril, has revealed that the operation by the Military, the Regional Security Council and the Minerals Commission to eradicate illegal miners on the Black Volta is ongoing.
This follows an updated report he received from the Six Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Savannah Regional Security Council and the Minerals Commission on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.
According to reports, areas such as Jama, Jugboi and Bamboi in the Savannah Region have all been cleared of illegal miners.
The Minister gave the assurance that the Ministerial Coordinating Committee on illegal mining was fully determined to halt illegal mining activities along the major rivers and waterbodies, which have been declared ‘Red Zones’ by the Government.
Prior to this, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, briefed the media on the operations on the Black Volta. He assured Government’s determination to crackdown on illegal miners on the River as a result of the surge in illegal mining activities (galamsey).
Mr Jinapor revealed that government has taken drastic, decisive and pre-emptive steps to protect the Black Volta from the destructive activities of illegal miners. He explained that following recent media reports of illegal mining activities on the Black Volta, the government through the collaborative efforts of the Minerals Commission, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and the Ghana Armed Forces embarked on an intelligence-gathering operation to ascertain the situation on the ground.
Furthermore, Mr Jinapor who was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the presentation of the intelligence report stated that a number of operations have already taken place by the Military to stop the illegal miners and protect the river body from further destruction.
Illegal mining activities on Black Volta Scandalous
Providing details of the said operations, the Minister disclosed that 20 changfans which were operating on the Black Volta have been confiscated and destroyed. He further noted that resources and personnel will be committed to ensuring the Black Volta returns to its naturally healthy state sooner than later.
Describing the emergence of illegal mining activities as ‘scandalous and unfortunate’, Mr Jinapor pledged that Government through the Ministry and allied institutions will activate the necessary and legal measures to protect the Black Volta and other waterbodies from illegal mining activities.
“The need for us to protect the Black Volta is absolutely important and I’m happy to report that following the reports the Ministry received, we are working closely with the Minerals Commission, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and the 6th Battalion of Infantry, (6Bn) in collaboration with the Military command of the Savannah Region were able to carry out an intelligence-gathering operation to ascertain the true facts on the ground…”Samuel Jinapor
Also, the lands minister disclosed that government will not relent in its effort to eradicate illegal mining activities and ensure that the exploitation of the country’s natural resources is done in accordance with the laws of the country and international standards. He explained that the government’s illegal mining battle is modelled on two pillars which are enforcement and reformation.
Subsequently, Mr Jinapor vowed that the government will continue to pursue the two pillars and will not renege in its effort to creating a sustainable mining sector through responsible and environment-friendly mining practices.