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General News of Wednesday, 29 August 2018


Policing water bodies will intensify fight on galamsey – Prof Boateng

Government has announced plans to intensify policing of water bodies in the wake of reports of secret illegal mining operations still being carried out on these water bodies despite the ban.

The move is aimed at increasing visibility on the water bodies to boost the national fight against all forms of illegal mining.

The chairman for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, said this at a recent briefing on the roadmap towards the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.

"Because of the Operation Vanguard and the compliance of the small-scale miners, there are fewer people working on the land that is why most of them are being sponsored to work on the rivers. Because they know that we have some deficiencies policing the rivers, therefore you see more activities on the water bodies. That is why we are going to intensify our efforts on the water bodies so that we get those who want to pollute our water bodies," Prof Boateng explained.

River Ankobra, River Pra and other popular streams in the Western Region have become the sources of alluvial mining, leaving the water bodies polluted.

He said the fight against the menace would not come easy because some public officials have hypocritically and dishonestly failed to support the government in addressing the problem.

"There are fewer people doing alluvial mining than before. The problem we have now is not with the small-scale miners, but some officials who are supposed to know better but are doing the wrong thing," he noted.

Commenting on plans to reclaim degraded vegetation cover in our forestry sector, Prof Boateng mentioned that the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry had an afforestation project coming up.

Whilst the committee works with stakeholders, including Operation Vanguard, to redeem the water bodies, affected communities in the region continue to face the wrath of the ongoing pollution being witnessed on all the water bodies, even during this rainy season.