A new approach is being considered by the Ghanaian government to curb the growth in illicit mining activities in and around rivers and places designated as Red Zones by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
They include the provision of 100 mercury-free gold processing machines to small-scale miners, the purchase of speedboats for river monitoring, and the reform and implementation of policies to criminalize the actions.
The Eastern Naval Command has recently recruited approximately 100 people to train as guards. The 97 male and three female recruits are anticipated to go through a one-month training programme that includes speedboat operating, swimming, and river guarding.
Commodore Emmanuel Ayesu Kwafo, the Flag Officer, charged the trainees to handle the drills with the seriousness they merit in a ceremony on September 22nd to officially begin the one-month voyage.
“One of the talents we will teach you is swimming,” the commanding officer stated. “We will show you what to do when the water is deep and how to deal with mining trenches. We will show how to detect the location as well as how to provide reports and feedback.”
Commodore Ayesu Kwafo also revealed that the Ghana Navy is establishing a Rivery Command to collaborate with the river guards.
“The Ghana Navy is developing a rivery command, and after this training, we will assist you in fighting galamsey operations. For the next month, we’ll teach you some fundamental and necessary abilities that you’ll need out there.”
“The government thought it was quite prudent to engage you as part of the efforts we are doing against illicit mining,” said Mr Samuel Tika, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission.
“They were particularly chosen to work in areas of our country plagued by galamsey activities. We have a lot of people around who aren’t obeying the rules and are mining in ways that pollute our rivers and endanger public health,” Mr Tika said.
After successfully graduating, the trainees will be posted to various river bodies to provide permanent patrolling activities. In total, 300 people are anticipated to go through the program in three batches.
www.zamireports.com / Ghana