Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, says the Government has taken drastic and pre-emptive steps to protect the Black Volta from the destructive activities of illegal miners.
According to the Minister, following recent media reports of illegal mining activities on the Black Volta, the government through the collaborative efforts of the Minerals Commission, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and the Ghana Armed Forces embarked on an intelligence-gathering operation to ascertain the situation on the ground.
Following that, the Military had taken a number of operations to stop the illegal miners on the Black Volta and protect the river body from further destruction.
The Minister said this when addressing the media on the sidelines of the presentation of the intelligence reports in Accra on Friday.
Providing details of the said operations, the Minister disclosed that 20 changfans, which were operating on the Black Volta had been confiscated and destroyed.
He stated that resources and personnel would be committed to ensure that the river returned to its natural state.
Mr Jinapor described the emergence of illegal mining activities as “scandalous and unfortunate” and vowed that Government through the Ministry and other allied institutions would activate the necessary legal measures to protect the Black Volta and other waterbodies from illegal mining activities.
“The need for us to protect the Black Volta is absolutely important and I’m happy to report that following the reports the Ministry received, we are working closely with the Minerals Commission, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and the 6th Battalion of Infantry (6Bn), in collaboration with the Military command of the Savannah Region to carry out an intelligence-gathering operation to ascertain the true facts on the ground.”
“As I speak to you now, series of operations have been undertaken and the reports I’ve received is that 20 changfans have been destroyed and there is a well-thought-through plan to eradicate illegal mining on the river and other parts of the country,”he emphasised.
The Lands Minister disclosed that government would not relent in its effort to eradicate illegal mining activities and ensure that the exploitation of the country’s natural resources were done in accordance with the laws and international standards.
He explained that the government illegal mining operation was modelled on two pillars- enforcement and reformation.
Mr Jinapor vowed that the government would continue to pursue the two pillars and would not renege on its effort to create a sustainable mining sector through responsible and environment-friendly mining practises.
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