About 2,000 youth in the Kwaebibirem Municipality in the Eastern Region are to be employed under the Community Mining Scheme following the roll-out of the programme in the area.
Of the number, 500 are expected to work directly at the mining site while 1,500 would benefit from indirect jobs.
The mining site would be operated by the members of the National Association of Gold Operators, Ghana (NAGOG), who have been trained by the Mineral Commission.
Inaugurating the community mining site at Kade, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, asked the youth to remain vigilant and act as watchdogs over those who insist on practising illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey.”
He said despite the legalisation of the community mining scheme, some persons continued to mine illegally, contributing to the already polluted water bodies and degraded lands.
The minister noted that the community mining site in the area was meant to provide employment opportunities for the youth there to help them improve their lives and build the community as a whole.
According to Mr Duker, a District Mining Committee would be established to oversee the activities and to ensure that the accruing revenue was used for the community’s benefit.
“We have provided two gold catching machines that could help in recovering about 95 per cent of the gold from the ores in the rock,” he added.
The Deputy Minister stressed the need for the youth in the country to welcome the community mining initiative as it sought to not only legalise mining but also aid in lowering the high unemployment rate in the country.
Mr Seth Antwi Boasiako, the Municipal Chief Executive of Kwaebibirem, stated that the community mining scheme was a welcome panacea to the indiscriminate mining in the area.
“The youth came together to receive training and can now mine legally and safely using the safe and legal methods and in turn they will monitor the area to ensure that no other person comes to mine there illegally,” he added.
Nana Ayim Duodu, President of NAGOG, said all the persons engaged would be given insurance packages for their safety on site.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS