The resolve of H. E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government against all odds to sanitize the small-scale mining sector for it to contribute sustainably to the socioeconomic development of the country is not aimed at chalking personal glory but rather to protect and safeguard the country’s rich resources for future generations, Hon. George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Mining has said.
In a keynote address to stimulate interest and exhort the minds of the traditional leaders and the youth of the Ashanti Region to the all-important task of winning the galamsey fight, Hon. Duker said that there must be a collective resolve by Ghanaians that “never again should we mine in our river bodies.”.
He said such a pledge should not be mere words of mouth but should be demonstrated through effective collaboration with the government in its fight against illegal mining.
In an engagement with Officers of MMDA’s, chiefs and the public in the Ashanti Region, Hon. Duker stressed that the desire to ensure that future generations get access to safe water should be a motivating factor for all stakeholders to actively participate in the fight against illegal mining.
“We must all come together and declare that never again are we going to allow people mine in our river bodies. The good steps we are taking have caught the attention of other countries like Sudan, South Africa and Zambia who have all been here to study our small-scale mining regime.
“What is left for us to do is to protect our water bodies. We know it’s not an event and we may not be able to completely abolish illegal mining but we can reduce it to the barest minimum. It won’t be an easy battle but we can win. Government is doing its part, we must also do ours.
On the initiatives by the government to reduce galamsey activities and increase revenue in the small-scale mining sector, the Deputy Minister disclosed that the government will in the coming days commission the ‘situational room’ to monitor and coordinate activities on the ground remotely around the country.
By this arrangement activity of miners and mining equipment will be monitored and transmitted digitally to the office of the Minerals Commission.
This, he said will complement the deployment of river guards to permanently patrol River bodies like the Offin, Ankobra and Pra. He said the introduction of the Community Mining Scheme and others are means of encouraging sustainable mining activities.
Hon. Duker also addressed questions and comments from the Chiefs, DISEC, Officers of the MMDA’s and gave the firm assurance that the government will not give up on the fight against illegal Mining.
The Deputy Minister in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio in an opening remark appealed to the traditional authorities to provide their unflinching support to the government to deal with the situation.
He stated that as custodians of lands and culture, the traditional authorities have an obligation to protect the waterbodies for generations yet unborn.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah, in a brief remark, commended the government for the fight and urged residents in the region to report illegal mining activities in their localities. He impressed upon the MMDCEs to help uproot the canker in order to save the region’s future.
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