The General Secretary of the Small Scale Miners Association, Godwin Armah, has urged the government to consider the option of naming and shaming in the fight against illegal mining.
His call follows the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II‘s statement at a Regional Consultative Dialogue on small-scale mining in the Ashanti Region on Wednesday, where he challenged the stakeholders to be truthful in the fight against the menace and call out persons involved in the act since they are known.
Mr. Armah, in a Citi News interview, however, advised the government to be circumspect in its approach, when it decides to act on the advice.
“We know the issues. We know people who issue licenses for people to mine in foreign reserves. We know those who give licenses to some foreigners to work in forest reserves. If we cannot be truthful to ourselves, we cannot win this fight. When we start singling people out, we will start to aceve rehisults in this fight. No one would want their name to be associated with this illegality, especially in the public eye. This will serve as a deterrent to others.”
“But, there is the need for the government to be careful when it decides to name and shame actors in small-scale illegal mining in the country,” he added.
Currently, the Ghana Armed Forces has commenced the second phase of an operation to fight illegal small-scale mining.
A statement from the Ministry of Information said the exercise, dubbed ‘Operation Halt II’ is aimed at “removing all persons and logistics involved in mining on water bodies”.
“The new phase of the operation focuses on the tributaries of the Pra River, which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners,” the statement added.
The Ghana Armed Forces has also commenced armed patrols of the Pra river.
The operation is being undertaken by 400 men of all ranks.