The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has indicated their commitment and preparedness to join the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey,’ in the country.
The move by GAF, according to Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, was after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo tasked the National Security to lead the fight against galamsey.
Addressing traditional leaders and chiefs at a two-day sensitisation workshop in Accra yesterday, Mr. Nitiwul disclosed that the government will soon deploy armed security personnel to twenty (20) illegal mining communities to clamp down on illegal miners.
According to him, that will mark the second phase of government’s unwavering determination to deal with the operations of illegal mining.
He explained that the military’s involvement to combat the menace would be part of their duties to maintain internal security.
Mr. Nitiwul disclosed that the anti-galamsey taskforces formed by the government were currently under training and were being resourced to swiftly deal with illegal miners.
“In the next couple of weeks, the military and the police will be going there [illegal mining sites, but I will not be able to give the exact date. Not because I don’t know but because it will not be in the interest of all of us,” the minster added.
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.
President Akufo-Addo is determined to win the fight that eluded the immediate past administration and other governments, saying on Monday, July 10, 2017 that he will put his presidency on the line with a commitment to end illegal mining.
Rallying Ghana’s traditional leaders together at the sensitisation workshop by traditional rulers in the country, the President said if there was 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 through their operations.
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