The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has challenged Ghanaians to provide evidence on persons believed to be engaged in illegal small-scale mining.
He says his outfit has taken steps to ensure that persons who still engage in the menace despite the numerous interventions by the government, are flushed out and dealt with according to the law.
Fighting illegal mining has been a hard nut to crack, despite various interventions by the government to bring an end to it. Many have suggested that those sponsoring the activity are often persons of influence for which reason the government is unable to fully pursue them.
In 2018, the government placed a ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country. This decision, which has received backlash from small-scale miners was to sanitize the mining sector in the long term.
Over 200 military personnel were deployed to flush out illegal miners destroying water bodies in the country under the Operation Halt campaign.
After several months of operation, the Minister of Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has indicated that the country is not out of the woods yet in the fight against the menace.
Mr. Jinapor is therefore urging the public to provide its outfit with evidence on persons engaging in illegal mining, so they can be dealt with.
“I will be happy for anybody to give me any evidence anywhere… the enforced effort we are making is without fear or favour,” the minister said.
“The president is fully committed to ensuring that we sanitise the small-scale mining sector of our country, and we are going to be totally ruthless and relentless.”
Speaking on Ghana Television, the Minister also indicated that the government has put in place enforcement mechanisms and efforts to maintain the country’s natural resources including water bodies to address water shortages.
He further called on community leaders to take up responsibilities in the fight against the menace.
“We are insisting that with the community mining we are rolling out under President Akufo-Addo, operators of community mining should reclaim the land concurrently so that when you excavate, you claim and you re-vegetate before you go further to excavate.”