Do your work without fear! …Mireku Duker to River Wardens

The Deputy Minister of Lands Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has charged river wardens recruited to protect river bodies, as part of efforts to fight illegal mining, to execute their work without fear or favour.

He said, working in such spirit, was the only way the river wardens would be successful in the execution of their mandate to protect the country’s water bodies from illegal mining activities.

Speaking at an orientation exercise for the wardens on Thursday at Takoradi, he told them they had the trust and confidence of the entire country to provide adequate security and protection at the various river bodies where illegal mining activities were ongoing.

At the event, Mr Duker, presented a vehicle and motorbikes to the wardens to aid their work.

The deputy minister stated that the decision by the government to recruit the wardens was due to the realisation that, most illegal miners return to work in river beds in the night after the Operation Halt II taskforce had patrolled the area during the day.

“The idea behind the river wardens is to train and deploy men and women to monitor the various river bodies and report on illegal activities polluting the river bodies. Whenever Operation Halt II undertakes any operation, since they are not permanently stationed, illegal miners return to the water bodies to perpetuate their criminal activities.

Hence, we are of the firm believe that, if these river wardens who are going to monitor these activities work as expected, we believe it will go a long way to help protect our water bodies. The river wardens will be working closely with the Riverine Command of the Navy and Operation Halt II Contingent from time to time,” Mr Duker stated.

He explained that, the training provided the river wardens, was to prepare them for the task ahead adding that the government would continue to make available the right incentives and motivation the wardens needed to execute their mandate.

Additionally, he stated that body cameras would be installed on the River Wardens to be monitored by the Officials at the situation room of the Minerals Commission, which would help in the performance review of all the wardens.

Mr Duker said the introduction of the wardens into the fight against illegal mining was to complement other measures such as the Community Mining Scheme, Operation Halt II, and the Small-Scale Miners Awards.

He stated that the government was determined to weed out the challenges in the small-scale mining due to the contribution of the sector to job creation and Ghana’s economy.

Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, said the wardens had been engaged to address a gap in the fight against illegal mining in river bodies.

He urged them to work diligently and work within the scope of the task which they had been assigned.

So far, 87 river wardens have undergone training at the Eastern Naval Command with the aim of deploying them to protect river bodies from the activities of illegal mining.

In all, about 300 river wardens are expected to be recruited by the government for the exercise.


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