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General News of Tuesday, 18 April 2017


Illegal miners turn in 75 excavators

The campaign against illegal mining (galamsey) has begun bearing fruits, as some miners in the Western Region have voluntarily turned in their excavators.

According to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu, the government had so far received more than 75 excavators.

"This is a good sign that the campaign against illegal mining across the country is yielding results," he said at the launch of the ‘Stop Galamsey Now’ campaign in Mpraeso in the Eastern Region.

The campaign is part of the ministry's agenda to get all Ghanaians on board to end galamsey.

As part of the campaign, Mr Amewu led a group of young people to hit the streets of Kwahu, holding placards which read: "Stop galamsey now".

He extended the campaign to Obomeng, where President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had joined the people to participate in the introduction of the Chief of Obomeng, Nana Effah Opinamang III, to the people.

Mr Amewu said the ministry was still sending signals to every individual or group in Ghana that "it is not right for any person to engage in activities that will destroy the environment”.

"The government will not allow any person or group to continue with galamsey, knowing the full implications or consequences. We are ready to end galamsey in Ghana," he said.

Comprehensive strategy

The minister also hinted of comprehensive strategies to tackle the galamsey menace once and for all.

One of the strategies, he said, was that the government was putting in place an alternative livelihood programme for illegal miners as soon as their operations were stopped.

"The programme, which will last for five years, is dubbed: the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) and will be put in place to absorb the affected people.

More fruit

Mr Amewu said the increased campaign against illegal mining by the media and civil society groups was bearing more fruit, "as seen in the apparent fall in small-scale gold production”.

"Our records at the Mineral Marketing Company (MMC) indicate that there is a fall in terms of production, and what this shows is that there is a fall in small-scale production," he said.

Mr Amewu said "signals the ministry is picking from the MMC reveal that people are migrating from areas where they are not supposed to mine”.