Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister addressing journalists in Northern Ghana

The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the government has no regrets for the law enforcing agencies burning equipment of illegal miners who are destroying the country’s water bodies and natural resources.

He said mining is not permitted in water bodies, emphasizing no authority would give lease to mining in water bodies because there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for individuals to do so.

Accordingly, the Ofoase-Ayirebi Member of Parliament disclosed that a decision has been made that any machine found in a water body would be destroyed by the security taskforce mandated to clampdown on Galamsey.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah stated there are air patrols that are ongoing at the Pra River with armed soldiers to safeguard the water body and apprehend recalcitrant persons who flout the laws of the country.

The Information Minister made these remarks during an interaction with Journalists in Tamale on Saturday as part of his working tour of the five regions in northern Ghana.

He added the activities of these illegal miners are endangering the future of this country, expressing worry that, “if we don’t protect the water bodies, your children and my children would not get water to drink in the next decade.”

The Minister has therefore assured Ghanaians that President Nana Akufo-Addo is very clear in his mind to fight against Galamsey and will not compromise on that.

He however stated there is room for responsible community mining but reiterated the river and any other water body is no go area for mining activities.

Meanwhile, the Akufo-Addo administration reinvigorated the spirit to clampdown activities of illegal mining in the country’s forest reserves and water bodies after the campaign against the menace was not very successful in his first term in office as President of Ghana.

The government through the new Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, held a national dialogue forum with all state and non-state stakeholders to discuss mechanisms on how to combat the albatross hanging on the neck of the nation dispassionately.

The National Consultative Dialogue designed a 15-point communiqué to be implemented with the urge on the government to exact sanctions and penalties imposed by the Minerals and Mining Act 2019 (Act 995) against all persons who infringe the law regardless of their socioeconomic status and political affiliation.

When Ghana succeeds in the fight against the exploits of illegal miners, it will be ensuring good health and well-being of the nation, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities and climate action which are SDG goals 3, 6, 11 and 13 respectively.

SOURCEBy Gadafi, Tamale
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