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The Small-Scale Miners Association is asking the government to decentralize the fight against illegal mining to include other stakeholders.

According to the association, this will help sustain the fight against the menace.

Their call comes on the back of the recent deployment of 200 military personnel to flush out illegal miners destroying water bodies in the country.

The directive is the outcome of a recent stakeholders’ dialogue on small-scale mining.

A statement from the Information Ministry said, “In furtherance of the resolution of the final communiqué of the Stakeholder Dialogue on Small Scale Mining on April 14 to April 15, and to ensure that mining within water bodies is immediately stopped; the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has authorized the Ghana Armed Forces to commence an operation to remove all persons and logistics involved in mining from Ghana’s water bodies.”

“The operation commenced at 0600 hours on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, on the River Pra in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana. Two Hundred (200) officers of the Ghana Armed Forces are involved in the operation,” the statement added.

Speaking to Citi News, the General Secretary of the Small-Scale Miners Association, Godwin Armah, said a collaborative effort will deliver better results.

Mr. Armah insisted that decentralization of the fight is key in curbing the situation.

“The Regional Ministers are the representatives of the government at the regional level. So when the government involves them, together with various district heads, it will work. Then it means the solution has been decentralized but we as an association and the communities that mining takes place in also need to be involved more.”

“So we [fight illegal mining] from the community level before it comes to the district to regional and then to the national [level]. But deploying only 200 soldiers to flush illegal miners out; when they do their operation and leave, who will sustain the efforts? That is what we need to look at because when the soldiers leave, the illegal miners will come back.”

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