Security taskforce crackdown on illegal mining ineffective

This observation comes at a time of a severe water shortage in Accra and other surrounding communities which the Ghana Water Company Limited blames on illegal alluvial mining along major river bodies.

 

The security taskforce cracking down on galamsey operators has not been effective, the Minerals Commission has observed.

This observation comes at a time of a severe water shortage in Accra and other surrounding communities which the Ghana Water Company blames on illegal alluvial mining along major river bodies.

Ghana appears not to get a hang of the fight against galamsey despite several efforts to stop this illegal activity.

In 2013 an inter-ministerial  taskforce was set up by President John Mahama to crackdown on these illegal miners. This was at a time many foreign nationals, particularly the Chinese, had taken over illegal mining in Ghana.

Isaac Abraham is Public Relations Officer for the Minerals Commission Ghana. In an interview with Pulse.com.gh he indicates that the taskforce clamping down on the illegality has proven not to be the way to go.

“We need to talk more for the people to change their attitudes rather than always using security on them,“ Abraham says, “ the national inter-ministerial taskforce it was just an adhoc taskforce that was set up because of the magnitude of illegal mining at that time, after that it’s no more in existence.”

He says financially sustaining this solution is impossible and therefore a long lasting approach needs to be adopted.

During the height of the clamp down in 2013 the taskforce was accused of extorting money from illegal miners in order to overlook their activities, an accusation the minister of Lands and Natural Resources then Alhaji Inusah Fuseini denied. He at the time called on people with evidence of extortion to come forward.

Even though the taskforce managed to arrest and deport dozens of Chinese engaged in the act, the Minerals Commission thinks the move is not a permanent solution to the galamsey problem.

Abraham argues that the chiefs and the community “must do more to help stop illegal mining. The solution lies with the community if you ask me. They should be able to stop the illegal mining from happening.”

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