WE WILL WIN GALAMSEY FIGHT – MINISTER
The Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) is determined to win the fight against illegal mining activities also called “galamsey”, particularly in water bodies and the threat they pose to the future of the country.
To this end, the RCC is embarking on an initiative to clean the water bodies within the domain of the region that have been engulfed with wastes from the activities of illegal mining.
The initiative is being done in collaboration with the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa with support from some foreign bodies.
UMaT has invented a technology to help purify water bodies polluted through illegal mining activities.
The technology makes it possible to clear particles from the water bodies and make the water bodies clean.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah disclosed this to DGN in an exclusive interview at Sekondi.
He indicated that the move has seen some progress with the River Ankobra, adding “Now we can see that the Ankobra River is taking shape. It is getting tidy”, he stressed.
He mentioned that the RCC is currently doing serious monitoring of the river bodies and gotten the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies ( MMDCEs) involved since they are with the people down there.
“The traditional leaders in the communities have not been left out in the fight. We are working with them and I believe this time round we will win the fight against the menace”, he assured.
He said his outfit has purchased about ten wooden boats to be distributed to some villages along the river banks in the region for effective monitoring.
“We are also building lots of synergies along the river bodies through the various district assemblies and the regions since the operation against illegal mining was decentralized by the President”, he revealed.
He also pointed out that the various district assemblies which have areas that the Pra River passes through are also collaborating to use the available technology to help clean it and prevent further illegal mining activities in it.
He noted that the MMDCEs have also intensified public education on the need to protect the forest reserves and water bodies of the country.
He reiterated that the government’s plan is not to stop small scale mining but wants it to be done the right way.
He said already the government has issued a directive that the forests and the water bodies are no go areas as far as mining is concerned.
The directive, he said, is meant to protect the forest and water bodies.
Mr Darko-Mensah also revealed that the Minerals Commission has promised to come out with a new directive as to how the District Mining Committees could be activated.
He said when activated, the District Mining Committees could issue license for community mining activities and properly monitor them.