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The Minister for Defense, Mr. Dominic Nitiwul has lamented the extent of devastation galamsey has caused the country’s river bodies.

Mr. Nitiwul says the observations made from “Operation Vanguard” and “Operation Halt” reveal a sorry state of a degraded environment with high health risks and hazards.

According to him, the illegal miners have “terrible and worrying” problems with the country’s water bodies.

Mr. Nitiwul at a press briefing on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, on the ongoing phase 2 of Operation Halt, described as terrible the current state of the country’s river bodies.

“Unfortunately for the people of Ghana as the operation commenced, we realized that the devastation was worse than it was initially and absolutely terrible, and it looks like the third phase is even worse off than the second phase.”

“It was terrible and totally destroyed. The river silted so many changfans because they were scooping the sand from the centre of the river and bring upstairs to wash it with mercury and the likes polluting the water in the process. The damage that these people have caused to this country is worrying.”

Currently, the Ghana Armed Forces have commenced the second phase of their security operation to fight illegal small-scale mining.

A statement from the Ministry of Information said the exercise, dubbed ‘Operation Halt II’ is aimed at “removing all persons and logistics involved in mining on water bodies”.

“The new phase of the operation focuses on the tributaries of the Pra River, which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners,” the statement added.

The Ghana Armed Forces have also commenced armed patrols of the Pra river.

The operation is being undertaken by 400 men of all ranks.

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