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General News of Friday, 7 April 2017

Source: 3news.com

Government to use army, police in second phase of galamsey fight

Government says it would engage the services of the police and military in the second phase of the fight against the illegal small scale mining popularly known as galamsey.

The canker has greatly affected water bodies in the country and polluted them so badly, the Ghana Water Company has had to shut down some of its treatment plants.

Communities living along some of these water bodies now resort to sachet water for drinking, cooking, bathing amongst others.

Major media outlets in Ghana have started a campaign to ensure that mount pressure on government and other major stakeholders to ensure that the galamsey menace is nipped in the bud.

Speaking in an interview with TV3, John Peter Amewu, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources said “the second phase which we have already used in the past is the application of the militant and combat approach but because it was not sustainable, it never lasted.

“How would you go and seize someone’s equipment and after a while you give it back to the person, that person would go back to the land again and start the same process.

“That was why there was a failure. When you get someone stealing cocaine and you get the cocaine from him, you don’t keep it, you destroy it.”

He further indicated that “equipments that are seized need to be burnt down and destroyed. That is the way I’m thinking about it. So that option is going to come.

“There is a five year project which follows after that. It is the Multi-lateral Mining Integrated project (MMIP). This is a sustainable strategy which would involve technology and application of law. We are going to maintain the regulatory framework as well.

“We are going to put in monitoring tools that is why we would be using drones along the water bodies, we are going to deploy the Marine Police along the river bodies to be picking signals. We would also empower the communities to help in this fight.”