100 newly – recruited river guards undergo one month training

A Total of 100 newly recruited river guards are undergoing a month training to equip them adequately to protect the country’s river bodies from activities of illegal miners.

The group, which comprises of 97 males and three females, are the first batch of 300 river guards who would be trained for the exercise as part of government’s efforts to fighting illegal mining.

The group would be undergoing the training at the Eastern Naval Command of the Ghana Navy at Tema in the Greater Accra region.

They are expected to be deployed to patrol the various river bodies including Birim, Offin, Pra and Ankobra with the speedboats recently acquired by government to help clamp down on illegal mining in river beds.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of operations at the Minerals Commission, Mr Samuel Tika, who handed over the recruits to the Command at Tema yesterday, said the training formed part of government’s multi-faceted approach to the fight against illegal mining.

He noted that the training would be focused on swimming and policing the river bodies to stop illegal miners from operating in them.

He said the training was to keep them disciplined to enable them actively carry out their assignments to aid efforts in making river bodies clean.

“The illegal miners are not following due process and are mining in ways that is polluting our river bodies and posing health threats to the public.

You have been selected to be trained to work in the areas of our country affected by illegal mining activities to help check the illegalities and protect our water bodies,” MrTika said.

Addressing the group, the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Commodore Emmanuel AyesuKwafo, said the river guards would be equipped with skills in speedboat operation and swimming, among others.

He charged the trainees to treat the drills with the seriousness it deserves so as to implement them effectively when they pass out.

The Ghana Navy, he said, was in the process of establishing a River Command that would coordinate the activities of the river guards to clamp down on illegal mining activities in river bodies.

“The Ghana Navy itself is forming a river command so that after this training we will support you to fight illegal mining operations. For the next one month, we are going to give you some basic and essential skill that you’ll need out there.

The training exercises will include lessons in swimming. We will train you on what to do when the water is deep and how to deal with mining pits. We will teach you how to detect the place, give reports and feedbacks,” Mr Commodore Kwafo said.

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