The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor is poised military personnel deployed to forest reserves and water bodies in the country would ensure mining activities come to a halt.
“I have absolute confidence in them and I believe the steps they are taking. They are working to clear illegal mining on the banks of our water bodies. Forest reserves are also going to be protected and safeguarded,” he said.
According to the Lands Minister in an interview on Joy FM, the presence of the military at mining sites indicates that government has reached the implementation and enforcement stage in its fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
His comment comes after some 200 officers in the military in the early hours of Wednesday were deployed to River Pra in the Western and Central regions on the directive of President Akufo-Addo.
This directive is meant to fortify an order by the Minister himself for all individuals and companies engaged in prospecting in forest reserves with or without legal authorisation, to suspend such activities and evacuate their equipment from the sites.
Mr Abu Jinapor noted that the National Security architecture is presently at the helm of affairs and “are taking series of measures in order to ensure that these directives and the designation of these places are enforced and secured.”
“We have given an instruction to Forest Commission not to issue forest entry permit for purposes of mining. So the framework has been set,” he added.
He, therefore, urged Ghanaians to rally their support behind the incumbent government led by President Akufo-Addo to end the reign of illegal mining operators in the country.
For him, Ghana’s victory over illegal mining is long-overdue.
“It is either we are moving forward or not. It is either we are enforcing the rules or not. The government has begun to take steps to enforce the rules and I think that the least that the citizens can do for the country, for the nation, and survival of our country is to support this law enforcement arrangement,” he noted.
Meanwhile, individuals and mining companies are expected by the close of Friday, April 30, to evacuate their equipment from these forest reserves and water bodies despite calls for an extension.
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