Four illegal small scale miners have been trapped to death in a pit at Salema in the Ellembelle District of Western Region.
The four –two men and two women — were working in the pit at an abandoned concession on Monday when it caved in on them.
Speaking to Citi News, the Western Regional Chief Executive Officer of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Abdul Ganiwu said the bodies of the victims have since been deposited at the Axim Government Hospital morgue.
“Four people got trapped; two females and two males. It is the police who sent them to the morgue. It happened at Salema. We are moving into the area to ascertain what exactly caused the accident. We are aware that currently, there’s a ban on galamsey but people will be going behind the scene to work without the notice of the authorities.”
“Until such incidences occur, you won’t know who is where doing what. People who are to provide information are also not doing so. If we are aware that people are doing galamsey, we would have informed the appropriate authorities,” he said.
Galamsey in Ghana
Illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ is one of the major problems Ghana has faced for many years now, with the government trying their best to fight the never-ending menace.
This has lead to many deaths and injuries, and even environmental problems like deforestation, water pollution and soil erosion in various parts of the country.
It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo assented to an amendment to the country’s mining laws that will see convicted illegal miners facing at least 15 years in prison.
In December last year, the bodies of two children were recovered after they drowned in an abandoned galamsey pit at Boete in the Obuasi East District of the Ashanti Region.
It was reported that the boys, an 11-year old and a 13-year old had gone to the site to swim when the incident happened.
A joint rescue team from the Ghana National Fire Service and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) with support from the Police and personnel from the Anglogold Obuasi Mine spent an hour before recovering the bodies.
Recently, two Chinese nationals and six Ghanaians suspected to be involved in illegal mining were arrested in separate swoops within Bekwai, Koniyaw, Subri and Edwinase, all in the Bekwai Municipality.
The arrests were carried out by an Operation Vanguard team on Sunday, January 12.