Three hundred and fifty (350) small-scale miners have been trained at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa as part of the government’s drive to make mining in the country become environmentally sustainable.
Mr. Kofi Dzamesi, the Chieftaincy Minister, who announced this said it could not be business as usual and that it was important to ensure that best mining practices were upheld.
He was speaking at a meeting held with chiefs in the Amansie West District at Manso-Nkwanta to rally them to join the fight to protect water bodies and forests from destruction by illegal gold miners.
More than 500 chiefs and queens from communities across the area attended.
Mr. Dzamesi repeated that the government was not against mining but that it was eager to see that there was sanity and environmental safety.
In line with this, district mining committees would be set up to tackle illegal mining – arrest and prosecute offenders.
They would scrutinize documents of those given licenses to mine in areas under their jurisdiction, to satisfy themselves that these were genuine.
The Minister indicated that at least two prominent chiefs in every district would serve on these committees.
He called for the traditional rulers to lead the effort at safeguarding the environment – protect food crop farms, farmlands, forests, rivers and streams.
Mr. William Bediako Asante, said the district security committee (DISEC), working together with the joint/police military taskforce, had arrested 87 illegal miners and seized 14 excavators in the area.
The chiefs pledged strong backing for the anti-galamsey fight and appealed to the government to also get tough with illegal chainsaw operators, ruining the forests.