The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources,National Security,Ashanti Regional Minister and District Chief Executive(DCE) for Amansie Central among other stakeholders have been accused of sleeping on their jobs as illegal Miners had filed days for galamsey activities.
Even though, several assurances have been given by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister,Hon.Samuel Abu Jinapor in particular about their commitment in fighting galamsey but concerned residents of Amansie Central say officials are rather unconcerned about their welfare.
In a joint investigation conducted by The Punch and The New Trust Newspapers, it came to light that, illegal mining activities are still ongoing in almost all the communities in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region despite the President’s effort to end illegal mining in the Country.
Interestingly, some sub-chiefs are hiding behind some powerful chiefs in the Asante Kingdom , Bekwai traditional Council and the Jubilee House to cover up their illegalities by taken thousands of Ghana cedis from Chinese Nationals and their Ghanaian counterparts to promote galamsey despite massive destruction of several lands in Amansie Central District.
The illegal miners who spoke to our team revealed that ,one has to pay about Ghc 40,000 for what they called “a good will fee” to get access to a land to operate.
Aside that ,there is a weekly commitment payment between 10-15% of gold they give to those who give them lands to enable them continue to operate without any interference.
It would be recalled that, President Nana Addo held a meeting in October, 4,2022 at the National House of Chiefs premises at Manhyia in the Ashanti region amidst a resurgence of galamsey activities.
A similar meeting was also held same day at the Golden tulip hotel, Kumasi city with MMDCEs to urge them to redouble their efforts to help end ‘galamsey’in the country but it seems the situation has gotten worse after the President’s engagement with his own appointees and Nananom.
It is also evident that ,President Akufo-Addo in July 2017 put his presidency on the line with a commitment to end the illegal small-scale mining activities in Ghana but these two newspapers can authoritatively confirmed that there are fresh illegal mining sites and pits in areas like Fiankoma, Ampofokrom, Ekorase, Mile 9, Mile 14, Anyeme and Atia just to mention but a few in the Amansie Central District.
During our visits to those mining sites few days ago, close to fifteen (15) excavators were seriously working in the aforementioned areas without fear of being caught because they have no respect for the Presidency and Bekwai traditional council.
Our investigation further revealed that those lands are all part of Bekwai stool lands under Bekwai Akwamuhene who also have a caretaker chief(Akwansrahene).
Even though, many of the illegal miners currently working at the various sites in those areas who spoke to our team alleged that they have consulted some chiefs before they had access to those lands under the care of Akwansrahene,Nana Kwabena Amaning- Kwateng I (Main Tagor).
This claims by illegal miners have been denied by the Akwansrahene.
The Akwansrahene who spoke to our team on telephone conversation stated emphatically that ,he doesn’t work for Minerals Commission hence has no power to give concession to either licensed or unlicensed miners.
According to him, he has no interest in involving himself in Galamsey activities and rubbished the claims by the ‘galamseyers’.
The Afoako- Akwansrahene who is a caretaker for Bekwai Akwamuhene said since he became the Akwansrahene barely two(2) years now,he is fighting a good fight against illegal mining (Galamsey) in his area, especially on lands under his care .
He said , President Nana Akufo-Addo, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, Bekwaihene and his Akwamuhene have all kicked against galamsey activities.
He used the opportunity and entreated the media to disregard any rumor that he or any of his Superior chiefs were supporting Galamsey activities in the Amansie Central District,especially those who are said to have invaded Akwansra Royal family lands.
The President’s representative for the area (DCE), Hon.Micheal Donkor when contacted said he was not aware of the illegal mining currently going on in the aforementioned areas among others.
That he was always ready to act when information comes to his attention.
Hon. Donkor said no one has given him information about the Galamsey activities till our team called him .
But his claims has been shoot down by concerned residents because Galamsey activities have been going on in those sites for more than a year now.
Most of the mining sites are close to the main road and doesn’t even need a tip-off if the DCE, the Ashanti regional Minister,Lands and Natural Resources Minister among others were not sleeping on their jobs as far as galamsey fight is concerned.
The team gathered that, about 24 kilometers stretch of lands have been destroyed in the area within few weeks at Amansie Central District after the President’s meetings with stakeholders.
The illegal mining activities are very alarming in the streets of the aforementioned areas and even known to a KG one pupil in the area.
However, the DCE who doubles as head of District Security Council (DISEC) and the Ashanti Regional Minister who have been tasked to help fight against galamsey were yet to act to help flash out illegal miners.
The concerned residents want strong action to be taken to protect farm lands and their water bodies.
Meanwhile,Videos and pictures were captured for hardcore evidence of illegal mining still ongoing in the aforementioned areas.
By: Investigative desk report
To Be Continued..