The Inter-Ministerial Committee Task Force on Illegal Mining says a call for efficient use of confiscated excavators should not come from Municipal Chief Executives.
MCE for Assin North, Nicholas Fiifi Baako during the celebration of this year’s ‘International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, called for the release of the seized excavators for desilting and dredging rivers and to prevent flooding.
But the Head of the Task Force, Francis Asibi Abu, said unless a request is made by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), the MCE’s suggestion is unwarranted.
“The issue is that before this operation, dredging was always going on in this country and so the department in charge of disaster control knows how to go about it and so I think the DCE is going beyond his normal responsibilities. If this challenge is there, there is a unit that is dealing with dredging and disaster management issues. That particular unit, NADMO, has not placed any challenge to the fact that they don’t have the equipment to do that job”.
The Municipal Chief Executive for the Adenta Municipal Assembly, Nii Noi Adumoah, in June this year also called for the utilization of the excavators seized from illegal miners in the fight against yearly flooding issues.
He said these excavators could be used for dredging the drains in municipalities that struggle annually with floods.
The anti-illegal mining and anti-sand winning task-forces are known to seize excavators and other heavy-duty equipment.
On some occasions, they are reported to have set such equipment ablaze.
In October 2019 an exhibit excavator valued at GH¢500,000 which was in the custody of GALAMSTOP, a taskforce set up by the Small Scale Mining Association to fight illegal mining was allegedly burnt by some unknown persons.
The excavator, CAT 330 BL, was among a number of earthmoving equipment seized at mining sites in the Western Region, and supposedly transported to Accra for safekeeping, only for it to disappear.