The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor says government has taken drastic, decisive and pre-emptive steps to protect the Black Volta from the destructive activities of illegal miners.
According to the Minister, following recent media reports of illegal mining activities on the Black Volta, the government through the collaborative efforts of the Minerals Commission, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and the Ghana Armed Forces embarked on an intelligence-gathering operation to ascertain the situation on the ground.
Mr. Jinapor who was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the presentation of the intelligence report on Friday, 21 July 2023, stated that a number of operations have already taken place by the Military to stop the illegal miners and protect the river body from further destruction.
Providing details of the said operations, the Minister disclosed that 20 changfans which were operating on the Black Volta have been confiscated and destroyed.
He stated that resources and personnel will be committed to ensuring the Black Volta returns to its naturally healthy state sooner than later.
Describing the emergence of illegal mining activities as ‘scandalous and unfortunate’, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor vowed that Government through the Ministry and allied institutions will activate the necessary and legal measures to protect the Black Volta and other water bodies from illegal mining activities.
“The need for us to protect the Black Volta is absolutely important, and I’m happy to report that following the reports the Ministry received, we are working closely with the Minerals Commission, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and the 6th Battalion of Infantry, 6Bn) in collaboration with the Military command of the Savannah Region were able to carry out an intelligence-gathering operation to ascertain the true facts on the ground”, he indicated.
“As I speak to you now, series of operations have been undertaken and the reports I’ve received is that 20 changfans have been destroyed and there is a well-thought-through plan to eradicate illegal mining on the river and other parts of the country”, he stressed.
The Lands Minister disclosed that government will not relent in its effort to eradicate illegal mining activities and ensure that the exploitation of the country’s natural resources is done in accordance with the laws of the country and international standards.
He explained that the government’s illegal mining battle is modelled on two pillars which are enforcement and reformation.
Mr Jinapor vowed that the government will continue to pursue the two pillars and will not renege in its effort to create a sustainable mining sector through responsible and environment-friendly mining practices.