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Anti-galamsey fight not dead – Deputy Minister warns as Operation Halt II strikes in Western Region

Thu, 9 Dec 2021 Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

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George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resource in charge of mining has issued a stern warning to persons involved illegal mining operatives, stressing that the fight against the canker continuous unabated.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, George Mireku Duker disclosed that the Operation Halt II taskforce is still undertaking its charge of protecting the country’s resources.

He revealed that the taskforce recently undertook an operation on the Ankobra River and tributaries where they captured some suspected illegal miners.

George Mireku Duker stated that twenty-six suspects were arrested with over 265 illegal mining items decommissioned. Among the persons apprehended is motorbike ride who was in possession of over 22 mobile phones.

George Mireku Duker explained that the suspects have been handed over to the police at Prestea and Wassa to undergo investigation and processed for court.

“The National Security Council and the Ministry tasked the Ghana army to tackle illegal mining within the Western Region. Southern Command was tasked to conduct follow-on preparations to clear recalcitrant illegal miners within the western region.

“The aim of the operation was to halt the return of illegal mining in major river bodies and its tributaries and to maintain the momentum of the Ghana Armed Forces in the fight against these threats. The follow-on operation focused on River Ankobra and its tributaries in the Western Region. Operation was conducted from Saturday, 4 December to Monday 6, December 2021.

“A total 265 assorted illegal mining items which were found within the red zones of 100metres of Ankobra River and its tributaries were destroyed. A total of 26 suspects were arrested. One motorbike and 22 mobile phones for illegal mining were handed over to civil police at Prestea and Wassa. Let commend the military for this operation,” he said.

Community mining to replace illegal mining

As part of measures to provide livelihood opportunities for the hitherto illegal miners, George Mireku proffered that government has embarked on a community mining scheme to create jobs and sustain mining in communities with the resource.

He said that government has adopted a multifaceted approach in dealing with the menace with includes the promotion safe and environment-friendly mining activities.

He mentioned that the community mining scheme which is a substitute for the illegal mining will create jobs and ensure the protection of resources. “The battle of the galamsey canker is not only to see to the removal of this illegal miners from the river bodies but also create a platform to contain those who will be moved out of the river bodies. We’ve initiated and continued creating Community Mining Scheme to hold on to those who will move out of the river bodies to be cushioned.

“With the community mining scheme, it is intended to provide livelihood to members, promote sustainable and responsible mining and thereby preventing illegal mining. Legal framework of community mining scheme is provided for small scale mining 81-99 of Act 703 and the Tributer System.

“We have developed small scale mining community manual. The manual is for community mining school to comply with”, he said.

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh
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