Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, says despite the strenuous efforts the Ministry is undertaking to end illegal Small Scale mining (galamsey) activities in the country, a collective effort is needed to totally rid the country of this menace.
Mr. Mireku Duker asserted that the fight against illegal mining is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders and every Ghanaian to ensure the sector is properly sanitised, with deepened community sensitization and education.
Speaking on the breakfast shows ofCiti TV and Citi FM, the Deputy Minister opined that measures to combat “galamsey”, have been reviewed to tackle the issues in a more upfront manner.
He mentioned that the campaign to safeguard the country’s water bodies is vigorously in session with a number of speed boats acquired to patrol major water bodies by river guards, explaining that this intervention will complement the effort of the military to stamp out any illegal mining activities on the rivers.
“It is pertinent we protect our river-bodies which is one of the main logics for this whole fight least we risk importing water in some years to come and honestly without the intervention of the government through the Ministry, such as the Operation Vanguard and Operation Halt 1 and 2, the story would have been worse,” he added.
He indicated that Reclamation, Alternative Livelihood, Gold traceability, and the establishment of a refinery, which he said is about 90% complete, are also some of the key interventions being rolled out by government to promote responsible mining and make Ghana the preferred mining hub of Africa.
The Deputy Lands Minister also indicated that some of the Ministry’s intervention in the fight against illegal mining is also being tackled through the expansion of the Community Mining Scheme (CMS) in which host mining communities are embedded into the mining value chain.
He said the initiative, which was launched during the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led government’s first term, is one of the responses to tackle galamsey, with the aim of creating thousands of new and decent jobs in host communities lawfully, under the purview of the Minerals Commission and exclusively for Ghanaians.
Mr. Duker said the Community Mining Scheme is a policy which is meant to align with the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, which regulates the small-scale mining industry.
He also disclosed that the government aims to create jobs through the scheme by legitimising the participation of locals of host mining communities in small-scale mining. The Deputy Lands Minister explained that the sanitization and regulation of small-scale mining is meant to ensure the clampdown of practices such as pollution of water bodies, adding that the procurement of Gold Katchas by the government is also aiding in this fight.