If we are really serious to rout out illegal mining, then we must be bold to treat the issue as a real war and not a fight as we are treating it now. In war, soldiers don’t aim at arresting their enemies but they consciously strategize to inflict serious casualties on their enemies until they surrender, that is how wars are won. We use maximum fire power to inflict heavy losses on opponents in order to defeat them. Ghana is at war with enemies from within that is why the president has deployed soldiers to the battle fields to defend the country from these internal enemies and so the soldiers must prosecute the war as they would do with external enemies.
Illegal miners have declared war on Ghana by attacking our lives, by attacking and poisoning our water bodies, they are attacking our very lives because water is life. I don’t know what instructions the commander in chief gave to his soldiers before deploying them to the battle field, but if he told them to go for arrest, then he would have made a mistake because soldiers don’t aim to arrest in war but rather shoot to kill. It is the duty of the police to arrest not soldiers. The soldiers should just turn the Galamsey pits to burial grounds by killing and dumping the bodies of these nation wreckers into their own pits and just cover them with their own excavators.
More so, the government must withdraw all issued alluvial mining licenses because there is absolutely no difference between the licensees and the Galamseyers when it comes to pollution of our water bodies and the degradation of the forests. No matter how far, the mine may be from the river, the miners would still use water and mercury to wash the soils to look for the minerals and waste will wash down into the streams or sink into the soil for our crops to absorb them.
When you issue a license to a firm to prospect for gold, the firm goes extra mile and turn the prospecting license into a mining license. You give a mining license to mine away from rivers, because they need plenty of water to wash the gold, they move their operations closer to water bodies or into the river basin, thereby polluting the river. So whichever way, we suffer the mitigation effects of the surface mining so the best solution is a complete ban of surface mining if we want to see clean river bodies again and eat clean freshwater fish as we used to have.