Communities must join government in fighting illegal mining

Daboase (W/R), April 20, GNA - Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has called for massive support from communities and their leadership to help government end illegal mining in water bodies.

Illegal small scale mining, otherwise known as “galamsey” had wreaked havoc on many water bodies across the country causing those water bodies to lose their very existence and nature.

The effects of unregulated small scale mining has also burdened the Ghana Water Company in terms of water quality and treatment.

Mr Jinapor said it was only through a national consensus and support to a policy on regulated small scale mining that Ghana's water bodies may resurrect from its current state as well as avoid the looming water crisis in the near future.

He said: "Nananom and members of the community, we cannot fight this fight alone as Government...the illegal miners operate in your communities and we need a commitment from you to stop them".

The Minster said this during a tour of some water bodies and intake points of the Ghana Water Company to assess the effects of unregulated mining on water treatment in the Western Region.

The tour was to gather baseline data on the status of the country's water bodies to inform policy direction and action.

Mr Jinapor said the Ministry was working to reform the licensing regime to ensure that permit by prospective small scale miners were also secured on time.

He said: "We are going to ensure that the security components also work to the letter ...and as you know, we have vested such powers in the Regional Coordinating Councils to help us in the the very least, our water bodies should be safe, no mining in Forest reserves and water bodies".

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, therefore, entreated communities and their chiefs to rise up to the occasion and support the government to succeed in the fight to restore the water sources.

"Let the chiefs and communities rise up to support...the laws must be applied strictly devoid of colours and positions", he added.

Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, said there was no excuse in destroying Ghana's water bodies.

"How come we can now desecrate our water bodies that were thought to be sacred in the name of active citizens, we should monitor and report all these social miscreants,” she said.