Accra, July 25, GNA – Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has called on the special anti-galamsey taskforce to reverse the destruction of the environment caused by the activities of the illegal miners.
He said government was focused on ensuring that the menace was fully addressed and that mining in the country was done in accordance with the law.
Mr Awemu made the call when he visited the joint military and police anti-galamsey taskforce at the Bundase Training Camp at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.
The taskforce, undertaking a three-week training, christened: ‘Operation Halt Three’ has an objective to help salvage the polluted water sources, farmlands and forests as well as save lives of the miners.
The team was trained in battle drills, advance rifle marksmanship, and hasty crowd control and physical training to enable them to uproot the canker.
Many illegal miners have also lost their lives operating in poorly dug pits to reach precious metals.
The taskforce forms part of the President’s Special Initiative against Galamsey and resourced to pursue its objectives adequately.
He said mining had been taking place in Ghana for over 100 years and a lot more gold was mined from Ghana than Johannesburg but the two countries were a complete mismatch when it comes to development.
Mr Amewu said the efforts to combat the menace had yielded some positive results including a moratorium on the issuance of new licenses for small-scale mining.
He said equipment impounded on the field would be used to reclaim lands destroyed through galamsey.
Lieutenant General Obed Akwa, the Chief of the Defence Staff, tasked the team to achieve success in its operations to preserve the environment.
He asked the Military and the Police to exhibit the highest professional standards in the discharge of their duties and called for inter-agency and community collaboration to curtail the menace.
He urged media practitioners to be objective and accurate in their reportage during the exercise.
The Minister’s entourage included Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister, Mr Emmanuel Okyere, the National Security Advisor, Colonel Eric Aggrey Quarshie, the Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Air Commodore Amoah-Ayisi, the Director General of Joint Operations, GAF, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Christian Tetteh Yohuno, Director in-charge of Duties of the Ghana Police Service.
By Kwamina Tandoh, GNA