The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has charged the newly sworn-in eleven-member Ministerial Advisory Board for his ministry to prioritize the fight against illegal mining.
Samuel Abu Jinapor also charged the board which has the Paramount Chief of Assin Owirenkyi traditional area, Ehunabobrim Nana Prah Agyensaim VI, as its vice-chair to also provide a strategic plan and clear policy direction to support the Ministry and its agencies to execute their mandate.
According to him, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is poised to end the menace and will count on the support of the board in that regard.
He thus charged the members to bring their expertise to bear in helping the government and the country end the menace once and for all.
“The issues are staring at us in our faces. We have been dealing with the issues of galamsey for a while. River Ankobra for instance, yesterday [Monday], we had to authorize a special operation on it to get rid of some recalcitrant illegal miners and I must say that the operation went on very successfully, but we have to do more.”
“The matters with this menace, we have said it many times and the President is fully committed and the ministry is also fully committed and we know it is not going to be won by just one stroke of intervention. We need sustained efforts and we are going to count on you to advise us accordingly in this regard.”
Meanwhile, the ministry has set up a Rapid Response Taskforce to augment the efforts of the government’s anti-illegal mining taskforce, Operation Halt.
This comes on the back of reports of the return of illegal mining activities on River Ankobra.
This was made known by a Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister in Charge of Mines, George Mireku Duker.
According to him, the government is not going to renege on its renewed commitment to ending the illegal mining menace.
“We are going to clamp down on all recalcitrant illegal miners and as I speak, a taskforce has been commissioned by the minister himself called rapid response team so if there is a distress call, this rapid response unit will attend to those calls as soon as practicable.”