The Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Paul Esien, has undertaken an assessment tour of illegal mining areas in the Western Region.

As part of the tour, Mr Esien held discussions with the Amenfiman Traditional Council and opinion leaders to ascertain some of the gains made so far in the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey”.

He explained that the inclusion of the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministry in the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the fight against illegal mining was for the Ministry to engage with traditional rulers as custodians of the land.

He noted that the fight against illegal mining still remained a challenge in some traditional areas, despite efforts by government to fight the menace. Mr Esien said the fight against illegal mining was not to serve political motive but for a better future and the progress of the nation.

He, therefore, challenged the Amenfiman Traditional council, the various stakeholders including the Assemblies and the security agencies to do more to ensure that the gains made so far were consolidated to completely eliminate illegal mining.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Wassa Amenfi East, Madam Helena Appiah, noted that even though efforts made by the government in the fight against illegal mining in the municipality had made a meaningful impact, the illegal miners had adopted a new approach of engaging in alluvial gold mining in the deep water and had, therefore, been able to escape arrest by the security agencies.

Madam Appiah said it had been observed that most of the illegal miners were foreigners with a few Ghanaians as their accomplices and gave the assurance that the Assembly, traditional authorities and the security agencies would continue to play their part to ensure that the illegal miners were flushed out to safeguard the environment and water bodies.

In his remarks, Tetrete Okwamoah Sakyim II, Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, pledged the support of traditional authority to government and, for that matter, its continued collaboration with the Assemblies and the security agencies in the fight against illegal mining.

Source: ISD (Stephen Tashi)

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