The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines, George Mireku Duker, has noted that the return of the Ankobra River and other water bodies to purity status is a reflection of the strides made by the government to fight illegal mining.
He said the progress made in improving the turbidity level of the waterbodies was indicative that the anti-galamsey fight was yielding results.
Speaking after the tour of the Ankobra River, which is fast regaining its clean status, Mr Mireku Duker commended the various stakeholders for their respective roles in the fight against illegal mining.
He maintained that the government would not take its foot off the pedal but would press on with the measures that had resulted in the gains made so far.
Mr Mireku Duker noted that the training and deployment of river wardens to compliment the Operation Halt II task force was another laudable initiative by the government that had contributed significantly to the liberation of waterbodies from galamsey operations.
The deputy minister urged all individuals, especially chiefs, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and the public to join forces with the government in its bid to protect the waterbodies.
The deputy minister reiterated the government’s determination to ban small-scale mining, and expressed the hope that the government through the Community Mining Scheme and other innovations would transform the small-scale mining sector.
“We should take full responsibility for protecting Ghana’s river bodies. We have roles to play, including MMDCEs, and we must all commit to protecting our waterbodies,” Mr Mireku Duker said.
“There are suggestions for the 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,” he stated.
The DCE for Ellembelle District, Kwasi Bonzo, said the people of Ellembelle would not sit down and watch others destroy their livelihoods.
The DCE for Nzema East, Dorcas Amoah, commended the government for the Community Mining Scheme in the area, revealing that many lives had been impacted positively by the innovative mining scheme.