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Regional News of Thursday, 20 May 2021

Source: peacefmonline.com

Military counted 700 excavators from Atewa forest in a day - Defense Minister

The Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul The Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul

The Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul in a press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Wednesday, 19th May, 2021 revealing the impact of “Operation Halt II” has stated that the Ghana Armed Forces who are leading the crusade counted 700 machines leaving the Birim area at the Atewa Forest in a day.

“The Armed Forces decided to count the number of machines that were leaving the Birim area three days ago, what we call the Atiwa forest, and in a day, they counted 700 machines. He disclosed that the excavators have been moved from the forest and parked at the Accra to Kumasi road. This shows the impact this operation is making,” he disclosed.

He was of the conviction that the operators of galamsey [illegal mining] are not ordinary men but rather rich and influential Ghanaians who are sitting in Accra and living abroad as they can afford to rent one excavator for Ghc6,000 to Ghc7,000 a day and even pay for 7 to 10 excavators to operate in a day.

“Some of the contractors are renting one excavator a day between Ghc6,000 and Ghc7,000. How are they paying? So it is not the ordinary men who are operating in the forest and the river bodies; these are rich and very influential people who are sitting in Accra and other areas and even some in London who are doing this harm. Who has Ghc7,000 to rent 7 to 10 excavators to operate in a day?”, he disclosed.

“So, if you are operating 10 excavators, it means in a day, you are paying Ghc70,000 if they are not for you; it is not the ordinary people who are engaging in galamsey and they have gangs who are armed too,” he mentioned.

He, however, stated that, “Ghana Armed Forces deployed a total of 561 all ranks in this operation. The first operation used 200 all ranks, the second operation was 400 all ranks and this operation, they were 561 all rank. The army contributed 461 all ranks, the Navy contributed 60 all ranks and the Ghana Air Force contributed 40 all ranks, bringing the total of 561 all ranks”.

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