The Government has procured five new patrol boats to be deployed to protect our water bodies from illegal mining activities popularly known as “galamsey”.
That move formed part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the pollution of river bodies.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Hon. Samuel A.Jinapor said that the deployment of the patrol boats was to address the menace that has for so long bedevilled the mining sector of the country.
“To find a more lasting solution to the pollution of our river bodies, I am happy to announce that the Ministry has procured five patrol boats, which will be used by the security services to patrol and protect our rivers, the Minister noted.
The Minister disclosed at the bi-weekly Minister’s Press Briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday.
He added that these boats would be deployed to Rivers Ankobra, Pra, Birim and the Black Volta in August.
Hon. Jinapor emphasized that Government would not stand aloof for illegal miners to destroy our water bodies hence the drastic measures to address the menace.
He announced that as part of the measures to address the menace, there has been a ban on the manufacture and sale of the floating platform, popularly referred to as “Changfan” and the Government was in the process of amending Act 703 to expand, legally, the scope of this ban.
Additionally, He mentioned that the Government has recruited more mine inspectors and has resourced the Minerals Commission to undertake effective regulation while also continuing with military operations to halt the wanton destruction of our environment and water bodies.
Hon. Jinapor underscored the need to ensure that mining activities were carried out safely.
As a result, he said the Government by section 92 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), has established Small Scale Mining Committees in the various mining districts, to assist the District Offices of the Minerals Commission in effectively monitoring, promoting and develop mining operations in their jurisdictions.
He said that 70 of these committees have been inaugurated in the various mining districts, and thirteen (13) more Committees in the Savannah, North East, Upper West and Upper East Regions, were due to be inaugurated in Bolgatanga.
This would be the first time since the enactment of Act 703 in 2006, that Small Scale Mining Committees have been established in the country.