“We are here to outdoor the Galamstop taskforce who are to ensure the pollution in the Birim River is stopped. These are 62 men selected from these areas and have been trained in diving also after receiving some military training in Asutuare. We have bought some boats for them with outboard motors which they will use to patrol the Birim River and it’s tributaries to ensure that people do not mine in the water for the river to be clear and regain its natural state”.
“We also met the miners and I have told them to be disciplined so that the Birim River will be cleared. This is a very important region because the president hails from this region, Okyehene also hails from here so we want to make sure we keep rivers here very clean.”
The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has inaugurated a 62 member GALAMSTOP taskforce at Kwabeng in the Eastern Region to augment the activities of Operation Vanguard in the region.
The men who were trained in diving at the Asutuare military base have been equipped with speed boats to patrol the Birim River and its tributaries which is still being polluted by activities of illegal miners.
In an interview with the media after the inauguration of the taskforce, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng, said the inauguration of the taskforce is to help restore the polluted Birim River to its natural state.
The Minister who indicated that there are still challenges in the fight against activities of miners who are mining in river bodies few months after government lifted the ban on mining saying it will be difficult to have 24-hour surveillance.
“The Galamstop taskforce is to complement the efforts of Operation Vanguard. We have gotten rid of a lot of excavators, foreigners have also been deported, and the numbers have reduced but there are still some challenges as some young men with gold detecting devices go to the forest to mine. And these are new challenges we are going to deal with. So we are going to modify our tactics but we can not have 24-hour surveillance. We are going to ensure that people do not mine close to the water bodies and we are going to have assistance using the drones”.