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Gov't Expresses Condolence To Families Of Galamsey Victims   
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Victims of the Dompoase illegal mining incident. pics credit: Graphic
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Government has expressed its condolences to the bereaved families of the 15 galamsey (small scale miners) operators, who lost their lives through a landslide at Dopoase in the Wassa Amenfi East District of the Western Region on Wednesday(November 11).

Mr Henry Ford Kamel, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources offered the condolences on behalf of the government at the weekend at a press conference in Takoradi.

"The government wishes to take this opportunity to extend sincere condolences to all the bereaved families and persons who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy which is without doubt, one of the worst mining incident in the history of this country."

Mr Kamel said his ministry was particularly saddened that 14 of the 15 bodies that have been retrieved so far were women.

He said the rescue team had called off their operations to discover other missing persons due to the likelihood of another landslide in the area.

He said the ministry was committed to ensuring that the mining industry adopted the highest standards of health and safety.

Mr Kamel indicated that despite efforts to promote the sector, an estimated 300,000 small scale miners continued to operate illegally without due regard to safety regulations recommended by the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

He said government had designated several enclaves suitable for small scale mining in the Western, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Northern regions.

He urged small scale mining entities to register with the district officers of the Minerals Commission to secure access to these enclaves and gain the necessary technical support and credit facilities to promote their business.

"It is our sincere hope that this unfortunate tragedy would compel all galamsey operators to register and take advantage of the facilities offered by the government to improve the safety and profitability of their operations" Mr Kamel said.

He said a security task forces had been formed in all mining areas to check the activities of galamsey operators.

Mr Kamel said constitutionally acceptable methods would be used to put a stop to illegal activities in the mining sector.

He said the mining sector would witness a lot of reforms soon through a number of legislations to make it vibrant.

Mr Kamel said disbursement of royalties from mining would be published in the media and whilst guidelines would be issued on how the money should be used.
Source: GNA

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