Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has underscored the resolve of President Akufo-Addo and the Ministry to end illegal mining, otherwise called galamsey, and its attendant destructive effects.
Currently on a three-day tour of the Western Region to engage stakeholders in the fight against illegal mining, the minister said the havoc being wreaked by the illegal activity cannot be allowed to continue.
Abu Jinapor said the country would not watch unconcerned as the illegal activities pollute the country’s water bodies, threaten rubber, palm, and cocoa plantations, as well as key national installations.
“What we need now is a broad based national effort that would have our noble chiefs and community elders in a non-partisan dialogue to ensure that the country’s resources are exploited in a safe and regulated manner to the advantage of the people,” he said.
Mr. Jinapor as part of the tour had frank engagements with the regional and district security councils to discuss the way forward. He is expected to call on the Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Regional House of Chiefs, and meet with the Regional Lands Commission and other forest sector agencies.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Okyere Darko-Mensah assured the minister of the Regional Security Council’s commitment to the fight against illegal mining activities, which he said have bedeviled the region.
“Let me assure you that the team in the Western Region is committed and we would support you and the dream of the President to see to an end to the environmental degradation and the show of impunity by perpetrators of these illegal activities,” he said.
As part of the three-day tour, the Lands Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Damongo, will on the second day interact with the mining communities in Tarkwa before proceeding to inspect a Mineral Development Fund (MDF) infrastructural projects at the University of Mines and Technology.
Mr. Jinapor will also visit the AngloGold (Iduapriem Mines) and also engage the small-scale miners association in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality.
The Minister was of the view that in order to ensure that the fight was won, there was the need to touch base with agencies under his ministry to ascertain first-hand information of what is happening in the sector and to bring everyone on board.