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Don’t Connive With Foreigners To Destroy Our Environment – Minister   
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The Minister for Environment Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has called on Ghanaians to desist from conniving with foreigners to destroy the country’s natural resources.

He said although small-scale mining is the sole preserve of the citizenry, some Ghanaians agree with outsiders to use un-prescribed equipment to mine, leading to the destruction of the forest, water bodies and farmlands because regulatory bodies are not well-resourced to clamp down on their illegal activities.

“The President is not against mining, but to make it better, so don’t collude with foreigners,” the Minister stated.

Professor Frimpong Boateng said this at the Meet-the-Press event in Accra to give briefing on how far government had come in regulating small-scale mining activities since the ban.

Based on this, about 3,000 of the miners from Ashanti, Central, Western and Eastern mining areas had been trained to ensure that they do not repeat the past mistakes of destroying resources which led to the ban on small-scale mining on April 1, 2017, he explained.

The Minister said they were taken through refined methods of operation to protect the biodiversity while mining.

He said besides that, the Water Resources Commission, Forestry Commission, District Assemblies, Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, together with Operation Vanguard, had been resourced to carry out their work in checking small-scale mining.

To integrate their work, he said a Software App called “Galamstop” had been developed to coordinate their work, and that information about the miners would be entered in the software; and licenses would be issued within 90 days of application and prescribed equipment will be determined.

In all, ten percent out of the 1,400 illegal miners arrested were prosecuted, while about 700 excavators, 6,000 dredging equipment and 84 cars were seized.

He said by the time the ban will be lifted, about 72 mining districts would have been set-up and issued with Identity cards with security features, concessions will be given them, and they would be organised into cooperatives and their excavators would be electronically tracked so as to be monitored through drones, all to ensure sustainable mining.

The Minister called for compliance from the miners, and on the side of the law enforcement agencies, he appealed to all Ghanaians to buy into the vision of government to prevent diseases and destruction of resources as a result of mining.
Source: GNA

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