Galamsey fight -In a bid to kick out the illicit act, the Military Command has deployed personnel to protect mining sites against illegal mining activities in the first phase of its long term protection for mining concessions. The joint military and police of about 400 personnel gathered at the Burma Camp in Accra to be deployed the Ashanti, Eastern and Western Regions for the first phase of the military involvement in the fight against illegal mining.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, earlier in July 2017, announced the long term military protection for large-scale legal mining concessions under a signed memorandum with the Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Armed Forces.
The Ghanaian government has been faced with several challenges in the fight against illegal mining in the country. The untold challenges were what led to massive calls for the involvement of armed forces. The deployment, code named, “operation vanguard” is to enforce the country’s laws against the illegal practice which has devastated the country’s land and water resources.
Stakeholders have expressed the belief that the involvement of the military in stopping illegal mining will achieve more results.
Ghana has been on the receiving end of untold damages caused by the widespread practice of galamsey, an act which has become a major source of livelihood for persons living around mining communities. According to an analysis given by former Trade Minister Dr. Spio Garba, there are as many as 8000 to 10,000 illegal miners in the country.
River bodies, which are the major targets of these illegal miners have been polluted severely further posing threat towards the health of the ordinary Ghanaian. This is because these operators often adopt techniques that cause devastating pollution of rivers and lakes. Toxic chemicals such as mercury which have long-term implications are often released into these water bodies making them unsafe for consumption.
But the Ghanaian government has doubled down on the fight to end this illicit act. Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, in an interview, said that government intends to sustain its fight against illegal mining by using the military to ensure that the culprits do not return to the site when the reclamation program begins.
He also announced the long term military protection for large-scale legal mining concessions under a signed memorandum with the Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Armed Forces. The memorandum covered over 20 Companies including C&G Aleksa and GeoProfessional Services Limited.