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Galamsey Activities Going On In 8 Regions — Amewu   
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At least four per cent of Ghana’s total land surface of 238,000 sq. km. is “highly degraded” as a result of the galamsey menace, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu has told Parliament.

He said eight of the ten regions of Ghana have illegal mining activities ongoing and it was posing national security threats to the country.

Answering questions from the Member of Parliament for Wassa East, Isaac Adjei Mensah, in Accra yesterday, on the extent of damage the illegal mining menace has caused the country, Mr Amewu named Bolgatanga, Wa, Bole, Berekum, Bibiani, Asankragwa, Tarkwa as galamsey prone areas in the country.

The rest of the areas considered galamsey endemic are Dunkwa, Akwatia, Konongo, Tinga, Dormaa, Kenyase, Juaboso, Enchi, Wassa Akropong, Prestea, Daboase, Diaso, Manso Nkwanta, Obuasi, Assin Fosu, Akim Oda, Kwabeng and Nkawie.

Government in March, alarmed by the spate at which the illegal menace was devastating the environment placed a six-month moratorium on all forms of small scale mining to sanitise the sector.

Mr Amewu on his latest visit to some galamsey sites at Diaso in the Central Region hinted that government would extend the ban because it was not satisfied with the success it had chalked in the campaign against illegal mining.

His point was firmed up by President Akufo-Addo in the Upper West regional capital, Wa, when he told religious leaders there that the fight against galamsey would continue unabated.

Government, Mr Amewu said is mindful of the threat illegal mining activities posed to the country but is overwhelmed by the extent of the menace.

He said it was in appreciation of the extent of damage that the ban was imposed to enable the government streamline the activities and put in place a holistic framework to manage illegal mining activities.

“Within this framework, we expect that record-keeping and statistics will enable us more accurately estimate the numbers” relating to the extent of damage caused to the environment, he said.

On some of the things being done to effectively nip galamsey in the bud, Mr Amewu said the Minerals Commission is completely being restructured to ensure sustainability in the management of the mineral resources of the country.

He mentioned the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) as one of the mechanisms it was adopting to encompass multi-stakeholders in dealing with the galamsey menace.

Mr Amewu is of the expectation that when the MMIP is implemented, the small scale mining sector would be sanitized, reassuring of government’s committee to that course.
Source: The Ghanaian Times

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