As part of efforts to curb illegal mining activities, the District Chief Executive for Akyemansa Assembly in the Eastern Region, Hon. Paul Asamoah Gyemah, led a joint security taskforce to raid some illegal mining sites in areas under his jurisdiction on Friday, August 18, 2023.
The DCE, who is the Chairman of DISEC, and the Security Taskforce, after embarking on the operations at the mining sites, burned fifteen (15) chanfang machines and other equipment used by the galamseyers on the Pra River in one community called “Ensese Anglo village in the Akyemansa district.
The illegal miners bolted when they got a tip-off that the Anti-Galamsey Taskforce was coming to the site.
The DCE explained after the operation that his outfit had tried several means to halt the activities of illegal miners on the Pra River in the district, where they shared a boundary with the Ashanti Region, but the illegal miners defied his directives.
According to him, to save the situation and stop the destruction of the water bodies, he led the team to seize the equipment and burn it.
He also blamed informants in Galamsey areas for thwarting efforts in the fight against the canker.
He noted that some ‘Okada’ riders, chiefs, and people living around the galamsey zones were being resourced by the illegal miners to serve as informants, so anytime the District Anti-Galamsey Taskforce decided to embark on operations in the galamsey sites, they quickly sped off to inform them, adding that by the time the taskforce team got to the mining sites, the illegal miners had fled.
Hon. Paul Asamoah Gyemah argued that the fight against unlawful mining should take a holistic approach.
Hon. Paul Asamoah Gyemah, first on the right hand
Additionally, he suggested that in order to address this issue, the National Security Department, the interministerial committee against illegal mining, and all other agencies that the president has empowered to combat galamsey should resource the military airforce to use their choppers to patrol over the river bodies at least twice to drive away all the galamseyers.
The DCE thinks that doing this will be the most effective strategy to combat this canker.
He stated that because local assemblies lack resources and cannot effectively combat the galamsey threat, the mother sector and the central government must step in.
According to Hon. Paul Asamoah Gyemah, many of these galamseyers are not indigenous to the nation and are being used as a resource by wealthy urbanites who are influencing them to raze the soil of rural settlements.
RESIDENTS OF ENSESE ANGLO VILLAGE
Speaking to some of the farmers that cultivate near the Pra River, they expressed their dissatisfaction with the illegal foreign miners as well as the harm the polluted river was doing to their crops.
They also revealed that some landlords in the communities around the Pra River rented their houses to the illegal miners, most of whom were foreigners from neighboring countries.
They urged the authorities to issue a notice to the landlords, ordering them to stop renting their homes to the illegal miners.
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