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General News of Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Source: mynewsgh.com

Government to blame for destruction of environment-Illegal miners

The wanton destruction of the environment has rather been blamed on the government by the illegal miners themselves stating that members are innocent.

“The Association is not a law enforcement agency thus, it cannot stop or prevent the legalities in the business” national president Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, Rev. Kusi told journalists at a press conference in Kumasi.

“The inability and lack of government’s commitment to ensure the environment is protected against activities of illegal miners created the current environmental degradation”, he asserted.

The leadership therefore blamed state institutions and security agencies mandated to ensuring all mining in the country are safe for what is currently happening to various water bodies.

“Illegal miners are known to mine in rivers and other water bodies, in forest reserves and places that have not been approved by Minerals Commission of Ghana”

“GNASSM is ready to team up with taskforce that will be formed by the government at various mining districts where illegal mining are taking place for offenders to be brought to book”.

“Immediately the Navy can conduct operations on all major rivers in the country to stop the ongoing illegal mining there and we are prepared to partner them and bring the issue of environmental degradation to its finality” the president suggested to the government.

They also called on government to direct attention to big mining companies parceling and selling lands to foreigners for the same illegal mining and prospecting.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu has crossed swords with illegal miners in the country giving them an ultimatum within which to stop their activities which is gravely affecting the environment or be flushed out using the security agencies.

He has bemoaned the increasing spate of illegal mining activities in the country which has led to the pollution of water bodies especially the Eastern and Western, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern regions.