The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has disclosed that the Lands Ministry together with the Defence Ministry will launch a four-phased approach to continue the fight against illegal mining in the country.
Giving an update on progress made so far on the fight against illegal mining at a press conference, he averred that this phase of operation will be targeted at some main water bodies across the country.
“We are going to launch a four-phase kind of approach. Phase one; the Pra River along the Western and Central Regions which we have started. Phase two will be on the Oda River and River Offin in the Ashanti and Central regions. Phase three will be in the River Ayensu in the Eastern Region and phase four; the Ankobra river and its tributaries and enclave”.George Mireku Duker
Honorable Mireku Duker disclosed that there is some kind of improvement on the water bodies as far as turbidity level is concerned. Unfortunately, he explained that there has been a bounce back by some recalcitrant illegal miners who have resorted to operating at night to elude the Operation Halt II activities.
The army, he indicated, as a result of this, is reviewing its strategies in fighting the menace. He commended the military on the work done so far, particularly with regard to Operation Halt and lauded the commander of the southern belt. Mr. Mireku Duker intimated that the ministry will issue an outline that will spearhead some initiatives to aid in the fight.
“I may not be able to put their modus operandi on air. I am reassuring those who are determined to destroy our heritage that we will come after you. I am using this medium to sound a stern warning to these recalcitrant [miners] to refrain from mining in our river bodies”.George Mireku Duker
Fight against illegal mining continues
The Deputy Lands Minister stated that the fight against illegal mining will continue but will not be exclusively handled by the Lands Ministry and the Defence Ministry alone but will include the support of the people. Mireku Duker asked the media to assist the Ministry in getting rid of the illegal miners who are determined to destroy the future of the country.
“If care is not taken, we may import water going forward and we wouldn’t sit down for this to happen. It is important for us to take this very serious as far as the operations of operation halt is concerned”.
Honorable Mireku Duker stated that the battle against the “Galamsey” canker is not only to see to the removal of this illegal miners from the river bodies but also to create a platform and initiatives to contain those who will be moved out of the river bodies.
For that matter, he noted that government has initiated and continues to create community mining schemes to help those who will be moved out of the river bodies and illegal mining pits. This scheme, he explained, is to cushion the miners.
“I can tell you that with the community mining schemes so far, it is intended to provide livelihood for members in the mining communities to promote sustainable and responsible mining and thereby preventing illegal mining”.Mireku Duker
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