The Youth of Atuna,a farming community in Jaman South District of the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana,have formed anti -illegal mining Vigilante group to clamp down on illegal mining activities degrading arable lands and polluting river bodies with impunity in the area.
Illegal miners christened locally as galamseyers have invaded farming communities such as Tuna,Baatia,Powdei,Ntaabene,Kwameprakrom,Komfuorkrom,Bobunu and Konsia all in the Jaman south district causing destruction to productive agriculture lands and in some instances destroy several hectors of cashew ,cocoa and other crops affecting the livelihood of the people.
The Vigilante group has been formed to forcibly flash out illegal miners from the area due to governments failure to deal with the menace.
Meanwhile,the Queen mother of Atuna community,Nana Brago kani ,last Friday led her troubled subjects to demonstrate to pour out their resentments to government and the security agencies over the destructive activities of the illegal miners.According to the Queen mother ,apart from the land degradation ,water bodies in the area have all been polluted with mercury and other heavy metals leading to severe water stress hence calling on government to stop the menace to protect the natural resources for a sustainable development.
Ghana government is struggling to end the illegal mining menace which is adversely affecting agriculture sector,forest reserves,water bodies, health of citizens and security of the country.Water treatment plants in some parts of the country had to be shut down for a period due to weird water turbidity increased to over 6000NTU as a result of activities of illegal miners who prospect for gold directly in water bodies.
Despite the Fine laws and regulations for the extraction sector,enforcement of the law to deal head-on with illegal mining canker remains a major challenge due to complex obstacles such as lack of political will by previous governments due to involvement of some high profile politicians,Chiefs and other influential personalities in the illegal activities .
Foreigners from China,Togo,Burkinafaso and Mali have also taken undue advantage of the weakness in the system to engage in the illegal act.
The new government of Ghana led by President Nana Akufo Addo during the 60the Independence Anniversary on March 7,2017 reiterated the political commitment of his government to dealing with the menace to conserve the environment for the future generation.