The government of Ghana has revealed that some more military officers have been deployed to illegal mining sites in the central, northern, and southern part of the country to fish out illegal miners across the country.
The new military campaign would be a continual effort until the galamsey problem is brought to a satisfactory position, in contrast to the previous military operations which took three months
Because of this, the government has committed a sizeable sum of money and logistical assistance to the effort being led by Operation Halt II.
Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, made this announcement on Thursday at a press conference in Accra to inform the public about new initiatives the government is implementing to combat illegal small-scale mining, also known as “galamsey.”
For the fight against galamsey to be successful, the Mr Jinapor called for a shift in mindset and cooperation with all parties involved.
He also called on the media to continually inform and sensitize the public about the harmful consequences of galamsey and different illnesses, including renal issues and buluri ulcers, that plague residents in mining areas.
The Minister outlined a number of the government’s current efforts to combat the galamsey threat, including the acquisition of speed boats to patrol rivers, the training of river guards, the designation of certain forest reserves as “red zones” for mining, and the provision of mercury-free gold processing equipment (gold kachas) to small-scale miners.
Collaboration between the Lands Ministry and the Attorney-Office General’s to prosecute illegal miners, both Ghanaians and foreigners, the implementation of Community Mining Schemes for locals, the recruitment and engagement of about 80,000 people for an alternative livelihood program, regular military operations (Operation Halt) to mining sites to arrest and burn excavators belonging to illegal miners, and the establishment of 83 district mining committees to regulate mining are just a few examples of the measures taken.
The sector minister promised that the Ministry would fight the galamsey threat with integrity and transparency, without protecting anyone, regardless of their political affiliation or social status.
Source: MLNR PR Unit | Accra