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General News of Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Ban Changfang use in illegal mining areas – Operation Vanguard Head

The Commander of government’s anti-galamsey task-force, Operation Vanguard, Colonel Michael Amoah Ayisi, is calling for a total ban on the use of some mining equipment such as the Chanfang in areas noted for illegal mining.

According to him, the equipment is often used by these miners in the galamsey endemic areas to destroy water bodies.

As at the end of last month, the team had immobilized over five thousand (5, 000) Chanfangs in the four illegal mining areas it currently operates. Colonel Amoah Ayisi said a total prohibition will help in the fight against the galamsey menace.

“Somebody would argue that there are other uses for the Changfang, but for now in endemic areas, this is what they are using to destroy water, and so if it is banned in those areas, the police at the barriers can check inflow. So if we are able to stop the destruction of the river bodies, then later on other measures can be brought in to make sure that, the Changfang equipment is not brought in for dredging,” he said.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has warned the government against lifting the ban on small-scale mining anytime soon.

It said the country’s water bodies and environment are still in a bad state due to the devastating effects of illegal small-scale mining still ongoing in some parts of the country.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has said President Akufo-Addo may lift the ban on all forms of small scale mining only when water bodies in affected mining communities become clean and safe for use.

His comment comes after President Akufo-Addo served notice that the ban will soon be lifted.

President Akufo-Addo, while speaking at a workshop for traditional leaders and the clergy in Accra, said a comprehensive road-map was being developed to involve the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined-out areas.