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Govt to decentralize security for galamsey monitoring

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 Source: 3 News

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Abu Jinapor is decentralizing security purposely for monitoring activities of illegal small scale mining (galamsey) in the country, Mr Ben Aryee, Advisor on Mines to the Minister, has said.

He stated that this is one of the ways in ensuring effective monitoring and supervision in the mining areas to prevent the degradation of the environment by the illicit small scale miners (Galamseyers).

“Even among the security agencies, there are informants so they [galamsyers] get to know when there is going to be a swoop.

“So one of the things the Honourable Minister is doing right from day one is to decentralize the supervision of these activities particularly the security aspects of it.

“He had a meeting with all the Regional Ministers at which he indicated to them that he is going to expect them to take charge of security within the regions, he is not going to depend on security coming from the centre of mining gold.

“He started meeting with the REGSEC [Regional Security Council], he has written to them to expressly tell them that security as far as mining is concerned is no different from other security, it is part of national security so they should take charge and make sure they deal with it. It will be much easier for them to deal with it in their regions, going further to the districts for DISEC [District Security Council] to take charge of the Districts and make sure things are done properly,” Mr Aryee told the host of the Sunrise show on 3FM Alfred Ocansey on Monday, April 12.

Mr Aryee further noted that the sector minister is working to deal with the lack of sufficient personnel in monitoring the activities of licensed illegal small miners in the country to ensure that they stay within the remit of the permit given to them.

He revealed that one of the challenges the minister is saddled with is the lack of adequate personnel and resources for monitoring.

However, he said, that steps have been taken to deal with the situation.

Recounting the works that have been done in ending illegal small scale mining (galamsey) in the country, he said “Essentially, when the small scale mining group is licensed it is the Minerals Commission which will process their license. I must say that a few years ago when I used to be at the Minerals Commission, we had nine District Offices only.

“As I speak, we have over 13 and there are plans to open up more offices, the regional offices they even have satellite offices to be closer to the people to be sure that they are with them all the time to make sure they are doing the right thing.

“That is very important, it is not just about pollution but a lot of them are not even doing the right things in terms of recovering the gold they claim to be mining, they are losing a lot of the gold. So there is the need for constant supervision to help them along. We may think they are losing gold, they are not losing gold, Ghana is losing gold and we don’t want that to happen.”

He added “So we supervise them to improve their recoveries, they make more money they are happy and we are happy because they do things properly environmentally. So we are expanding the numbers to cover as much as possible all licensed areas.

“Unfortunately, where it is not licensed sometimes it is on our blind side, sometimes we are aware of it but we simply don’t have enough personnel on the ground and we are trying to deal with that.

“That is one of the things my Minister is very keen on doing on the ground and enough logistics.”

Source: 3 News
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