Intensify efforts to prevent illegal mining on River Ankobra – Duker
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has charged communities along the banks of River Ankobra to intensify collaborations with stakeholders to prevent illegal mining activities in the river bed.
He said that such collaborations were necessary to sustain the progress made in clearing and cleaning the River Ankobra into its original state after illegal mining activities polluted and contaminated it.
Speaking to the media after a tour of some parts of River Ankobra on Friday, he observed that, the turbidity level of River Ankobra was gradually reducing, saying that the progress was indicative of the strides made in the fight against the menace.
“These are important gains and it should be protected through enhanced collaboration between the communities and all stakeholders to ensure the river is clear and clean.
The return of the Ankobra River and other water bodies to their pure status is a reflection of the strides made by government’s fight against illegal mining,” Mr Duker added.
The government, he said, was working to intensify the fight against illegal mining and commended the various stakeholders for their respective roles in the successes chalked so far.
“I want to assure you that government will not take its foot off the pedal and will press on with the measures that have resulted in the gains made so far,” Mr Duker stated.
Lauding the activities of Operation Halt II taskforce, he said, the deployment of trained river wardens had contributed significantly to the removal of illegal miners off the river.
Mr Duker called on Chiefs and local authorities to work together to protect the water bodies, saying that the government was focused on growing the Community Mining Scheme and other innovations to increase Ghanaian participation in the small-scale mining sector.
“There are suggestions for government to close down small-scale mining activities but we are aware of the number of job opportunities created in the small-scale mining sector. I urge all stakeholders to work together to help in regulating activities in the sector,” he noted
The Chief Executive of Ellembelle District Assembly, Kwasi Bonzo said the Assembly had put in place stringent measures to deter illegal mining activities in the area.
Dorcas Amoah, Chief Executive of Nzema East District Assembly also commended the government for the Community Mining scheme in the area saying that the scheme had become a source of livelihood to many in the community.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS