The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdullai Jinapor, has said persons in charge of institutions regulating mining activities in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region should be held responsible for the destruction caused by illegal miners popularly known as galamsey.
The illegal miners are back in that area and destroying virgin forest reserves in the area.
After more than five years of intense war against illegal mining, it appears the efforts are not paying off as illegal miners continue to pollute water bodies and destroy natural resources.
Tracts of farmlands and forest reserves have been destroyed by activities of illegal miners with pits left abandoned.
The Minister, who visited the mining sites, was amazed at the level of destruction caused to the environment by illegal miners.
Military deployment to some mining districts in the Ashanti Region this week led to the seizure of some mining equipment used for illegal mining activities.
The Minister joined the military in areas where the recent clampdown was carried out and expressed his disappointment at the level of destruction.
He was shocked as hectares of land were degraded with impunity.
“The pervasiveness of mining activity and wanton destruction of the landscape of the area is serious. The number of hectares mined out is a threat to our environment,” he said.
He realized that the operation did not start a day or a week “and I am shocked about this development”.
“Given the extent of the operation, I just can’t be convinced the Chief of the area, Minerals Commission officials in the area and the District Chief Executive are not aware.”
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He called for collective action to address the galamsey menace.
The General Officer Commanding Central Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour, assured that the fight against galamsey will be won.
“We in the military are committed to this fight and with the support of all the fight will be won,” he said.
The Minster later met some Regional Ministers and MMDCEs and appealed to them to support the fight.