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General News of Saturday, 15 May 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Extend anti-mining red zone on river bodies to 2 kilometres – Soldier advocates

The soldier giving the Chinese illegal miner a talkdown play videoThe soldier giving the Chinese illegal miner a talkdown

The government seems to be going all out in its renewed campaign in halting illegal mining (galamsey) which is threatening the survival of river bodies.

As part of the new measures to ensure the success of the renewed military operation which commenced on April 28, 2021, the explicit instruction given to the officers includes the outright demobilization of mining equipment seized during the operation.

But according to a video from the field sighted by GhanaWeb, an officer in charge of one of the platoons involved in the operation believes the current caveat for seizing and demobilising mining equipment may not be sufficient in the fight.

As sighted in the video the senior officer was seen giving a talk down to a Chinese illegal miner they had arrested noted that the modus operandi adopted by the miners in response to the operation means a new strategy has to be adopted if the exercise is to be successful.

“Look at our water, you see the problem you have caused. You come from your country and be destroying our water. You, can you drink this water? So you see this is the problem, these guys are well established with machines, plants. They have two plants; one supplying water which is about a kilometre from here. Then when they wash the gold, they now discharge the water through the second plant into the river," the officer said.

The military officer charged, “So this is the main problem, the guys are operating beyond 100 metres from the river, yet their establishment is causing so much destruction to the river. So the caveat we are operating with, the hundred meters caveat is not feasible. If we really need to deal with this issue, we need to review this caveat so that we can operate fully to achieve the success that we all desire. Either than that, we will finish this operation and these guys will still be on the water and there will not be any change.”

The government in its instruction to the soldiers asked that all mining activities taking place on river bodies and 100 meters around be stopped and equipment used destroyed.

However, the officer in the video states that the most feasible way for the distance factor to be more effective is to expand the given radius to about two kilometres.

“Everything within two kilometres astride the river we should destroy it. Even this one that we are seeing here is one kilometre from the river but yet they are the ones causing the mayhem. They are the very people destroying the river more than those with the smaller machines. We need to really look at this,” the officer retorted.

Watch video below:

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