The Stop Galamsey Operation Taskforce in Dunkwa in the Central Region has destroyed 19 machines used by galamsey operators.
The machines were used by the operators to mine on River Offin which serves as the major source of water for residents in the community.
Joy News’ Central Regional Correspondent, Richard Kwadwo Nyarko reports the operators fled from the scene upon seeing the Taskforce. The Taskforce was set up by the chief of Dunkwa Offin, Okofrobuor OBENG Nuako III with representations from the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Minerals Commission, police, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Dunkwa Traditional Council.
The chief told Joy News in an interview Wednesday government’s effort to crackdown on galamsey would be better fought if traditional leaders got involved.
He said he has supported Lands Minister, John Peter Amewu’s roadmap to ending activities of illegal miners blamed for the pollution of the country’s water bodies.
“I support him 100 percent [because] of the death traps the galamseyers are creating in the community,” he said.
Okofrobuor OBENG Nuako III said he has engaged with the illegal miners in his community to talk them out of their activities but they have been adamant. “We have always advised them to leave but they don’t want to leave,” he said, adding he has tasked the Taskforce to destroy equipment used by the miners. He has also instructed the team to handover those apprehended to the police.
“As a leader I don’t want government to bring some men to bully my people…I want to act first before they get here.”
Some successes have been recorded since the Lands Ministry launched the anti-galamsey operation in January. Over 500 excavators used by illegal miners have been handed to the Ministry.
Government has fashioned out the Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP) to absorb the people who will be affected by the clampdown. The project is expected to provide an alternative means of livelihood for the people.