Galamsey fight: Gov’t deploys military in ‘couple of weeks’
The Defence Ministry says it will soon deploy armed security men to illegal mining sites to enforce the ban against the practice.
The deployment of the military and police personnel will mark the second phase of government’s unwavering determination to deal with the illegal small-scale mining, popularly called galamsey.
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, told Joy News Monday that the anti-galamsey taskforce is currently under training and are being resourced to swiftly deal with the miners who are known to sometimes repel authority with guns and other sophisticated weapons.
“In the next couple of weeks the military and the police will be going there [illegl mining sites, but I will not be able to give the exact date out. Not because I don’t know but because it will not be in the interest of all us to do so,” the Minster told Joy News.
A ban on illegal mining, which is part of a government-led crusade against the practice, has chalked credible success, however, some recalcitrant miners continue to breach the law.
Four miners were recently arrested in the Ashanti Region – one of the hotspots for illegal mining activities.
The Bosomtwe District Command picked up the four in a special operation.
President Nana Akufo-Addo is determined to win the fight that eluded the immediate past administration and other governments, saying Monday that he put his presidency on the line with a commitment to end the illegal practice.
Rallying Ghana’s traditional leaders together the President said if there is one right thing to be done, that thing is for all to fight galamsey, reclaim the lands and leave for posterity a “green country” and a “clean space.”
Illegal miners have polluted critical fresh water sources, destroyed vegetation and ecosystems, and threaten security with their unregulated activities.
Many illegal miners have also lost their lives operating in poorly dug pits to reach precious metals.
Speaking to Joy News, the Defence Minister adds that “largely the first phase has been successful. [The illegal mining situation] was far worse. It is indeed better now, but it can made even better”.