The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has said that government intends to sustain its fight against illegal mining by using an aggressive approach where necessary, to ensure that the culprits do not return to the site when the reclamation program begins.
He said the government intends to use this approach for at least a year.
Speaking to Citi News while on his regional tour to inspect some galamsey sites in the Western Region, the Minister said the government will not relent in its effort to address the menace.“When we start the reclamation program, there is going to be a sustained combat and militant supervision in place which is going to last a minimum of one year so we don’t expect that in an attempt to reclaim, people will come back and come and do the digging,” he said.
Many communities in Ghana are currently suffering the negative effects of galamsey which has left most of Ghana’s fresh water bodies poisonous.
Thousands of acres of fertile farmlands have also been destroyed as a result of galamsey. Although Ghana’s laws are clear on illegal mining, the activity has been allowed to continue for more than two decades.
Citi FM has been at the forefront of media advocacy and crusade for action against the illegal activity. The station has among other things petitioned Parliament to act to stop the menace.
Among 5 demands by the station from government is a tree planting and land reclamation project to regenerate the vast lands destroyed as a result of galamsey.
Mr. Peter Amewu, who is yet to make public the 5-year Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), which he has said includes a livelihood empowerment project to create an employment avenue for the illegal miners, also said government realizes the importance of commencing the tree planting exercise, and therefore is looking to commence it immediately.
“…Because there is going to be supervision, the police, the military and the law enforcement agencies will be around, we expect to maintain what we are witnessing now. So it is important that the reclamation, we start as early as possible as we look for the alternative livelihood for these people…Of course these are the guys that will be brought unto the MMIP,” he said.