LET’S STOP THE PATRIENSA ILLEGAL MINERS NOW

The Times, on Friday, July 16, carried on Page 28, a story headlined “Illegal miners ignore government’s ban” which we cannot allow to pass without comments.

According to the story, illegal miners at Patriensa near Konongo in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality, have largely ignored the government’s order to stop the illegal mining activities and continue to mine and destroy the environment.

It said, the recalcitrant miners also known as galamsayers, have changed the modus operandi by engaging in the illegal activity only in the night to avoid being found out.

However, the engines of the excavators used to dig for the gold, could routinely be heard coming from the forest.

What is worse is that, the illegal miners continue to pollute the Owere river and further destroy the environment.

Sad to say, residents in the area; who asked not to be named accused some influential people including chiefs of being behind the illegal activity.

We are shocked that the galamsayers would act with such impunity and in the full glare of the district assembly, chiefs, opinion leaders and security agencies without anyone raising a finger.

It is worrying that in spite of the national outrage about the illegal mining activities and the campaign launched to halt it, there are individuals bent on continuing on the destructive path.

The Times would like to draw the attention of stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, its agencies and the security to move in quickly to stop the illegal miners immediately.

The impunity with which they are operating in the area if not halted could embolden others to go back to their old operations.

The operation in Patriensa clearly shows that the war against galamsey is not over yet and that victory is a long way away.

It also shows that there is lack of coordination and agencies in those communities are not taking the fight against galamsey seriously.

To win the war, therefore, state agencies and all appropriate stakeholder must move swiftly and firmly to halt these illegal activities.

The war against galamsey must be won at any cost necessary.

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