As the government intensifies the fight against illegal mining, the Senior Manager in charge of Environment for AngloGold Ashanti, Nixon Asante, has called on Ghanaians especially those in the mining sector to help protect the environment from further destruction.
According to Mr. Nixon Asante, various activities such as illegal small-scale mining also known as ‘galamsey’ cost Ghana heavily and as such, efforts must be put in place to end the menace.
He made the call at an event organised by Anglogold Ashanti in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency to commemorate World Environment Day in the Ashanti Region.
Mr. Asante charged the entire citizenry to support the fight against the menace.
He said that is the only way the fight can be won.
“Let us raise our voices by joining the campaign against ‘galamsey’ and educating others through social media platforms and face-to-face to end the menace. We cannot turn back the hands of time, but we can grow trees and green our cities. So I urge all of us to join this call and win this together, If I fight alone, I cannot win; but if we fight together with one spirit, we shall win,” he said.
The government has resuscitated its commitment to ending the activities of illegal miners.
This has led to the deployment of the military task force dubbed ‘Operation Halt’, to flush out all mining activities within water bodies and the forest zones of the country.
Currently, the operation, which is in its fourth phase, has seen 401 military officers deployed to focus on illegal mining activities on water bodies particularly, River Ankobra in the Western Region.
A statement from the Information Ministry on Thursday, May 27, 2021, said “the Ghana Armed Forces has commenced the fourth phase of Operation Halt II aimed at removing all persons and logistics involved in mining from water bodies.”
“The new phase of the operation focuses on the Ankobra River and its tributaries. The operation is being undertaken by four funded and one men of all ranks”, the release said.
The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who signed the statement, advised the public to stay away from mining in water bodies to avoid any action by the forces.
The ‘Operation Halt’ taskforce has so far destroyed 49 excavators, 228 changfans, and 87 water pumping machines among other mining equipment.