The Minerals Commission is advocating the implementation of stringent punitive measures against illegal miners as a means of curtailing the growing illegal mining activities and their attendant destruction of arable lands and water bodies in Ghanaian communities.
Ghana is currently under siege and looks helpless from illegal mining activities, which are having a negative toll on national vegetation and water bodies among others.
Speaking in an interview, Anthony Warlah, District Officer for the Wassa Amenfi West, East, Central, Aowin, Suaman and Half Assini lamented at the wanton destruction of the country’s natural resources by illegal mining or galamsey activities. He described as unfortunate the collaboration between some Ghanaians and foreigners who practice illegal mining and called for punitive sanctions against them when arrested.
The Minerals Commission provides technical support, facilitates, monitors and provides advice to Registered Small Scale Miners. It is the main promotional and regulatory body for minerals sector in Ghana for the coordination and implementation of policies relating to mining. The commission also ensures compliance with Ghana’s Mining and Mineral Laws and Regulation through effective monitoring.
Anthony Warlah commended the periodic crackdown of illegal miners and added they must serve prison terms as a deterrent to many others involved in the “damaging business”. The Amenfi West District which houses the Asankrangwa office of the Minerals Commission has had its share of galamsey activities and their attendant problems. Several residents in the district lack portable water as the Tano, Semre and other water bodies which hitherto contributed towards their social lives have been destroyed by illegal miners.
Arable farming is getting extinct with residents struggling for survival because of the absence of satisfactory number of boreholes to provide for the domestic and other needs of residents. They are appealing to government and other stakeholders to bail them out of their predicament.