The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Jinapor, says the recent mining pit collapse justifies the need for the country to sustain its fight against illegal mining.
Dozens of miners were trapped in an illegal mining pit that collapsed on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The incident occurred at Denkyira Breman-Brofoyedru, a community in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region.
Citi News sources say at least three individuals, including a victim believed to be 10 years old, pulled out of the wreckage are feared dead.
But commenting on the incident during a tour of alternative livelihood projects on Wednesday, Samuel Jinapor noted that a team has been dispatched to the town to begin investigations into the matter.
“The incident that is being reported is obviously a very unfortunate one. We are all keeping our fingers crossed and hope that the worst doesn’t happen. This underscores the need for us to sustain the efforts we are making to ensure that Lands and Natural Resources Ministry moves forward to be able to sanitise the small-scale mining industry. So for now, let us be patient and await the outcome of the initial investigations that will come from the Minerals Commission,” the Minister said.
Frantic efforts are still being made to rescue those trapped.
It is believed that the victims are not from the community, as none of the residents could identify any of the deceased.
This comes at a time when the government has renewed the fight against all forms of illegal small-scale mining by burning excavators and other mining equipment in forest reserves and on water bodies.
The Upper Denkyira West Director for the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Isaac Gyasi, confirmed that three people are dead, with more than thirty miners trapped.
He indicated that his outfit is yet to secure excavators to start the evacuation process.
“Some people went for illegal mining last night and according to them, those confirmed dead are three. We are yet to excavate the ground to see the number of victims in the pit. The confirmed report is that there were between 30 and 40 people [in the pit], but because it happened at dawn, we are yet to get the excavators to go there,” Isaac Gyasi said.
Collapsed mining pits
This is not the first time a mining pit has caved in on miners in Ghana.
In November 2020, an illegal small-scale mining pit in the outskirts of Ayanfuri in the Central Region collapsed and trapped eight persons between the ages of 24 and 35 years.
The illegal miners were rescued by residents and rushed to the Dunkwa on Offin Government Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
A similar situation was recorded in October 2020, where five persons died when they were trapped in a mining pit at Ayamfuri in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central region.
15 others who were also trapped in the cave sustained varied injuries after the incident.
Obuasi: One feared dead after Anglogold Ashanti mining pit caved in
One person died recently after an underground mining pit which is part of the concession of Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, caved in and trapped some workers.
The incident reportedly occurred on Monday, May 17, 2021.
According to the mining workers who spoke to Citi News on condition of anonymity, four persons working for Underground Mining Alliance, UMA, a company contracted by Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi mine, were trapped underground.