Minister of Lands and Natural Resources says it has intensified security operations to curb illegal mining operations and pollution of the Black Volta which is situated in the Savannah Region.
According to the Deputy Lands Minister, George Mireku Duker, the effects of pollution at the Black Volta have dire effects not only on the communities within the area but other infrastructure facilities such as Akosombo Dam and Bui Power Dam.
Speaking with journalists on the security operations, the deputy minister disclosed that some illegal mining operators had been arrested along with their machines destroyed.
“We organised a REGSEC into the place immediately to zero into the place. They did recce and from the report that we received they have been able to arrest some one or two people. Lots of changfan machines were burnt or decommissioned, and we’ve also tasked operation halt II to be patrolling the area.
“As of yesterday [July 26. 2023], we had a helicopter that was going along the banks of the black Volta, and we believe that it will be secured with the efforts that we’ve put in place. I may not be able to put across our modus operandi but I can reassure Ghanaians that we are in touch with the security agencies, and we will make sure that the Black Volta is protected.”
The Minister said this during the launch of the Community Mining Schemes at Moseaso-Abransie, Banko Camp, and Yaw-Krom-Asamang in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
He however bemoaned the impact of illegal mining activities on the environment and reiterated government’s resolve to regulate and implement policies at aimed safeguarding the mining sector with best practices.
“The degradation of our environment is a really bad situation as far as the mining industry is concerned and we have been advocating that how do we get these things resolved. For example, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is to formulate policies and give some guidelines as to how we can mine. It is not our responsibility even to arrest.”
“But we are in it together, we are one government, so we will try our best as to how best we can coordinate to get these illegal miners arrested. However, it is the collective responsibility of all Ghanaians to clamp down on these recalcitrant persons. And don’t ever think that government alone can ever resolve this. It must be the general consensus in addressing this canker,” Duker stressed.