Image by MLNR-PR.
Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Honourable Samuel Abdulai Jinapor says his Ministry has made some considerable gains in the fight against Illegal Small Scale Mining popularly known as “galamsey” over the past few months.
“We have come to a point where we can reasonably be encouraged that the proper framework and the building blocks have been put in place to deal with this age old menace,” he sais in an interview on the 18th January, 2022 edition of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s morning show dubbed “GTV Breakfast Show.”
The Ministry, Lawyer Jinapor revealed has implemented reforms in the regulatory regime for the mining sector among them is “Operation Halt.”
“Efforts are being made by Regional Security Councils at the forefront of enforcement and even the extent of segregating the enforcement by declaring mining in forest reserves and river bodies as red zones are pillars on which I can say we have made gains,” he said.
He however admitted that there is still more to do.
“We are not out of the woods yet. We haven’t gotten to a satisfactory point where we can say we have a full grip of illegal Small Scale Mining in our country. I will be the first to admit that 5 to 8 or even 10 years would still not be enough to rid our country off these llegalities in the lands and natural resources sector completely.”
The sector Minster also assured of the commitment by the entire ministry and the relentless contribution of its divisions to ensuring that all the measures put in place are duly enforced even in the sight of obvious challenges.
Additionally, the Minister disclosed the acquisition of ‘night cision equipment’ the Ghana Armed Forces as part of intensified efforts to curb the menace.
Integration of the natural minerals sector.
Lawyer Jinapor reiterated the government’s plan to ensuring that the country has an integrated iron industry which will ensure the retention of the full value chain. He revealed a collaborative effort between the Minerals Commission and the Precious Minerals Mining Company ( PMMC) which has witnessed an ongoing establishment of a gold refinery in Ghana. This will see an added value to Ghana’s minerals.
The Member of Parliament for Damongo in the Savannah region entreated all to support the 2022 Green Ghana Day event slated for June this year. This will be the second year of the initiative to restore Ghana’s lost forest cover.
“Reports from the robust monitoring team at the forestry division reveal that up to 80% of the seedlings planted last year survived.”
“We cannot call on Ghanaians if those we planted last year are not doing well,” he added.
The government is targeting to plant some 20 million tree seedlings this year. To effectively whip interest of the general public, Mr Jinapor wants the Ghanaian media involve in every step of the exercise.
“I’m calling on all media outlets to partner government on the planting of these 20 million seedlings.”
On the lands sector, the Minister said that one of the key priorities of the Ministry which is being vigriously pursued is the digitization of the records of the Lands Commission.
He said issues that have to do with land administration are of grave importance to him even more than galamsey, stressing that the consequences of land administration are enormous.