Galamsey (ILLEGAL) mining is on the rise in Juabo, Sarah and Ayim all in the Amenfi West district of the Western region, and, this could heavily deplete the forest reserve in the area if something is not done immediately to arrest the situation.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission, Security Services and other state agencies charged to monitor and arrest the situation, are sitting unconcerned and/or refusing to act.
Investigations conducted by this reporter have found that some of these illegal miners are operating in the know of some of these officials charged to monitor and arrest the situation, thus making a mockery of the call by the President for their immediate crackdown.
With Ghana already losing the battle to control this menace, thousands of people from all walks of life, have descended heavily into the forest reserve situate at the towns mentioned above, at an alarming rate using all kinds of equipments to dig the ground in the search for gold.
The area is supposed to be protected as a forest reserve rich in different kinds of minerals and also hosts wildlife and other plant species.
Some of these illegal miners have resorted to the hiring of private security men to protect their concessions and properties and operate without fear of being apprehended by state authorities charged to crack them down.
Information available indicates that there are well over 600,000 illegal miners in Ghana (and this does not include foreigners who also take part in this industry) with the majority of Ghanaians being able-bodied young men who otherwise, could have been engaged in a less dangerous activity.
Aside the illegality associated with galamsey, it is also extremely dangerous as many of these young men unfortunately lose their lives in the course of the mining activities and the recent incident at Kyekyewere near Dunkwa is a classic example.
The destruction of the land is massive as major pits have been left uncovered by these galamseyerâ€™s who seem to have developed a habit of digging around everywhere all in search of gold.
Another major fatality awaits Ghana in the near future as there is a huge possibility that any of the opened pits could cave in at anytime and one can imagine the number of lives that could be lost if action is not taken to address the situation immediately.
The main scare regarding this illegal practice is the extreme harm it causes to the environment since no proper measures are taken to ensure that the environment is protected.
These illegal miners in the course of their operations, was the alluvial gold with mercury in rivers that the local folk use for their livelihood/domestic purposes, thereby poisoning these water bodies, the aquatic organism dwelling in them and lastly the people.
These are issues that must be addressed by the authorities concerned and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources must play a lead role by acting immediately to stop another major calamity befall Ghana and control galamsey operations in the areas mentioned in this report.
By George Osei/Happyghana.comRead Full Story