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General News of Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Government blows GHC50 million on anti-galamsey taskforce

The Government of Ghana would spend a whopping amount of fifty million Ghana cedis (GHC50 million) on the anti-galamsey task force deployed to enforce the country’s laws against illegal mining.

The deployment, named “Operation Vanguard” is to enforce the country’s laws against the illegal practice which has devastated the country’s land and water resources.

This is a major step in the fight against the illegal activity that has affected most of Ghana’s land and water resources.

Many have expressed the belief that the involvement of the military in stopping illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, will achieve more results.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ Tuesday, Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Benito Owusu Bio revealed that the government has budgeted GHC 50 million as the initial amount to be spent on the combined team of Military and Police.

“The government has estimated that an amount of GHC 50 million as the budget to be spent on the task force…,” he revealed.

The GHC 50 million budget, he said, is an initial cost as according to him, the government will spend more if the task force continues to remain at the galamsey sites.

“This is the initial budget because the projected amount is more than that as the taskforce would stay on if the galamseyers do not stop…,” he said.

The Central Government, Benito Owusu Bio said is funding the galamsey fight and that no District Assembly would be mandated to bear the cost.

The deployment of the 400 combined Police-Military team, the Deputy Minister said is the second phase of the fight against illegal mining.

“Those left are the stubborn ones who have decided not to stop galamsey and hence there was the need for the Military to intervene and sack them…,” he said.

As part of efforts at combating the illegal activity, Benito Owusu Bio said the fight against glamsey would be used as a key performance indicator for Municipal and District Chief Executives in districts where galamsey is prominent.

“The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of DCEs include the fight against Galamsey because if you are a DCE, you shouldn’t be able to help the government fight galamsey in your district,” he said.

DCEs who fail to ensure this, he added, would be ‘used as a scape goat’.