The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry says it has intensified security operations in the Savannah Region to ward off illegal miners and prevent further pollution of the Black Volta.
The Ministry is concerned about the effects the pollution at the Black Volta can have on critical infrastructure like the Bui Power and Akosombo Dams if the activities of illegal miners continue.
Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, George Mireku Duker told journalists that security operations have been strengthened in the area to protect the Black Volta. He said that some illegal miners have been arrested and their machines burnt or decommissioned.
“We organised a REGSEC into the place immediately to zero into the place. They did recce and from the report that we received they have been able to arrest some one or two people. Lots of changfan machines were burnt or decommissioned, and we’ve also tasked operation halt II to be patrolling the area.”
“As of yesterday we had a helicopter that was going along the banks of the black Volta, and we believe that it will be secured with the efforts that we’ve put in place. I may not be able to put across our modus operandi but I can reassure Ghanaians that we are in touch with the security agencies, and we will make sure that the Black Volta is protected.”
Mr. Duker spoke during the launch of Community Minning Schemes at Moseaso-Abransie, Banko Camp, and Yaw-Krom-Asamang in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region.
He however indicates that the Ministry continues to formulate policies to regulate the mining sector and should not be entirely blamed for the destruction caused to the environment.
“The degradation of our environment is a really bad situation as far as the mining industry is concerned and we have been advocating that how do we get these things resolved. For example, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is to formulate policies and give some guidelines as to how we can mine. It is not our responsibility even to arrest.”
“But we are in it together, we are one government, so we will try our best as to how best we can coordinate to get these illegal miners arrested. However, it is the collective responsibility of all Ghanaians to clamp down on these recalcitrant persons. And don’t ever think that government alone can ever resolve this. It must be the general consensus in addressing this canker,” he stated.