Asanteman Establishes Taskforce To Clamp Down On Illegal Mining
A task force has been established in the Ashanti region to descend on illegal mining, what is popularly known as “galamsey” in the country.
In December while accounting to the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, said of the 43 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), 25 are engaged in illegal mining.
The activity has affected water bodies and farmlands in the region which is a major concern to the King of the Asante kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The King on countless times decried illegal mining and called for plausible interventions to fight it.
In response to the menace, a task force by the name Asanteman Taskforce Against Illegal Mining has been established by Richard Adjei Ofori Atta, the Executive Director for EOn3 Group to fight the menace in the region.
The task force is collaborating with diplomats and international organisations like the World Gold Council, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, PRECINOX and DMC.
In an exclusive interview with Opemsuo radio, Mr Ofori Atta who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman for Manhyia South Constituency raised concerns about the government’s supposed fight against illegal mining.
“Fight against illegal mining is not about words. We don’t have to fool ourselves. We know those into illegal mining in this country. Mere miners are arrested while the financiers walk about freely in the country”, he told host George Agyei.
According to him, illegal mining is one major concern for Diplomats in the country and poses threat to the country’s gold and cocoa export in the next decade.
As part of its fight, the Asanteman Taskforce Against Illegal mining will monitor galamsey hotspots in the region through the use of drones and open data platforms.
He said that reports of persons captured plus evidence will be presented to Otumfuo who will in turn present them to the Regional Minister for the right officers to take action.
“Even if the officers deployed take bribes and renege on their mandate, we will present the report to the international community for the needed sanctions”, he noted.
He said the sanctions will include a ban from travelling for such persons who will be caught.
According to him, the task force will have a legal team who will pursue cases against persons the task force will arrest for prosecution in that regard.
He said the project is to bring the will of the King concerning mining to life.
Mr Ofori Atta in his submission noted that Otumfuo is not against mining but wants responsible mining to be practised in the region.
This mandate, he said, the task force will ensure.