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General News of Thursday, 16 August 2018


Government launches new software to fight galamsey

The inter-ministerial task-force on Galamsey has adopted what it calls technology-driven strategies to combat illegal mining.

Key among the technologies is a software called Galamstop, which will monitor the activities of illegal miners.

Speaking in Accra on Thursday at a forum towards a road-map to lift the ban on small-scale mining, the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Task-force Against Illegal Mining, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, said the team hopes the innovations will culminate in the eventual lifting of the ban.

“These are things that have been pledged at this conference in the fight against illegal mining. The integration of activities of these regulatory agencies through a computer application we call Galamstop. The Minerals Commission, EPA, Water Resources Commission, Forestry Commission, our current DCEs will be integrated through this software application.”

The Minister was however not clear on a specific time for the lifting of the ban.

Galamsey menace has destroyed the county’s land and water resources, and some experts have warned that Ghana may resort to the importation of clean water in the next two decades if the threat is not totally eradicated.

Operation Vanguard

In a bid to tackle the menace, the anti-galamsey task-force was deployed to three regions; Ashanti, Western and Eastern about five months ago, to help fight and sustain the campaign against illegal mining, which was started by Citi FM a year ago.

Their operations have resulted in the arrest of illegal miners including foreign nationals, particularly Chinese.

The deployment of the joint police and military task-force came as a major boost to government’s fight against illegal mining in the country, following news of its devastating effects on the country’s land and water resources.

The government placed a six-month ban on all forms of mining until further notice but later extended it on two different occasions as it says the desired results have not been seen yet.

This is in spite of appeals from licensed small-scale miners who say the ban is negatively affecting their livelihoods.

Meanwhile, Operation Vanguard and the Media Coalition Against Galamsey have been appealing to the country’s judiciary to mete out stiffer punishments to persons found guilty of illegal mining, especially on water bodies.

In various public appeals, they have noted that the fines imposed on majority of the guilty persons are not deterrent enough.