SOME 85 illegal mining operators, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, have been have fined by the Wassa Akropong Circuit Court in the Amenfi East District and ordered to reclaim the concession destroyed by their activities.
At the time of filing this report, The Finder had credible information from the district indicating that indeed the culprits were busily engaged in reclaiming the land that has been affected by their activities as instructed by the circuit court.
The arrest and subsequent prosecution of these 85 illegal miners, according to local government authorities in the district, is to serve as deterrent to others who might want to venture into the illegal mining business.
It is estimated that over 3,000 youths are currently engaged in illegal mining activities in the Wassa Amenfi East District alone, and nearly 500,000 in the whole of Western Region.
The situation in the Amenfi East District, in particular, has been described as alarming following the increasing number of people, both local and foreign, constantly invading the mining concessions to engage in this unapproved method of mining.
Speaking to The Finder in an interview, the District Chief Executive for the area, Mr Baidoo Acheampong, said although the issue of illegal mining in the area has in the past been described as cumbersome to tackle by his predecessors, his administration is poised to stem the tide in the district.
According to the DCE, the assembly has demarcated the district into eight specific phases for the purpose of confronting the damning consequences of illegal mining operations in the area.
He said part of the first phase covered the Asikuma area of the district while the exercise is ongoing in the main communities, including Subirisu, Mensahkrom, and Ankwa-Agya.
It was the phase one of the operation, he said, which resulted in the arrest and subsequent prosecution of the 85 illegal miners.
The next phase, he said, will cover Gyapa, Domiabra, and all the other mining communities in the Dadieso area. He said the exercise will be sustained until all the eight phases have been completed to maintain sanity in the district.
Meanwhile, the Western Regional Police Command has observed that there is an increasing crime wave in galamsey sites in the Western Region.
DCOP Kofi Boakye, Western Regional Police Commander, made this known to senior officers of the police command in the region at a regional conference organised in Takoradi on Thursday.
He said, “Information from stakeholders and intelligence gathered so far has exposed our region to serious threats from the activities of galamseyers”
Consequently, he called for collaboration within the security agencies to tackle the menace.
He noted, “It should be noted that security is achieved if occurrence of fear and threat of dangers fails to come to fruition. Therefore, I am making a clarion call to all stakeholders to build closer collaboration in fighting these galamsey menaces,” the commander averred.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Ebenezer K.T. Addo, in his keynote address, urged the police officers to brainstorm and come up with new proactive and pragmatic strategies to deal with emerging security threats confronting the region.
The chief of Takoradi, Osahene Katakyie Busumakura (III), who chaired the function, urged the police to continue to play their role as law enforcement officers.
Source: The Finder
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