Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu has dismissed all mine officers across the country for negligence in the fight against illegal mining known as galamsey.The nine officers who were in charge of monitoring mining activities in each of the nine mining zones have been asked to proceed on leave with immediate effect for allowing illegal miners to takeover their designated territories.
The job causalities follows a tour of galamsey-plagued areas in the Western Region namely Daboase where a water treatment plant had to shut down due to destructive mining activities.
Other areas include Prestea, Dominase, Dwira Takunta and Hiawa.
The Western regional tour was the next stop after the minister visited areas such as Kubreso, Atiwa, Pinaman, West Anyinam and Kyebi all in the Eastern Region.
Massive environmental havoc has been the persistent theme of the Minister’s tour with water bodies muddied and deadly open pits littering large swaths of land.Abandoned excavators and other mining equipment were also found on some of the unauthorised sites in the course of the tour.
A mine inspector was found ‘heavily drunk’ last Thursday during the tour and disappointed Mr Amewu vowed to take action against the inspector whose name was identified as Yaw.
But the Minister appears to have scaled up measures to end the galamsey menace with the sacking of all other mine officers in an industry now famed for the wanton destruction of the environment.Mr Peter Amewu told Joy News’ Latif Iddrisu the names of the affected officers will be made public in the course of next week.
Announcing the dismissal of the workers, a visibly displeased and infuriated Minister told journalists, “there are young graduates out there who are ready to work.”
He hinted applications will soon be opened to have the officers replaced without delay.
A renewed crack-down on galamsey is underway following a national hue and cry over the debilitating effects of unregulated mining.
Government through the ministry issued a 3-week ultimatum for illegal miners to pack out of the lands.
The deadline expired last Wednesday with the government claiming to have seized 500 excavators.
On his tour Sunday, the Minister has directed that all seized exacavators be moved to Accra within 30 days.
Mr Peter Amewu said his outfit will consider putting boots in areas identified as safe havens of the illegality to end galamsey.
He assured government will streamline mining operations across the country to make for easy and proper monitoring.
Ghana’s waters and lands are swarmed with an estimated three million miners leading to the destruction of water bodies meant to sustain more than 20 million population.