Pakyi No. 1

Seven more districts in the Ashanti Region have been invaded by illegal miners, despite increased efforts to stop the menace.

Out of the 43 districts in the Region, 25 are now afflicted by galamsey.

Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, addressing a meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council expressed worry over the situation.

“The galamsey fight in the region has not yet been won and still is expanding,” he said.

A visit of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Abu Jinapor, to some affected areas in the Amansie Districts in September this year revealed deep pits opened all over a vast area.

The phenomenon, despite renewed operations to stop the illegal miners, has continued, with more acres of land being destroyed.

 Some miners sit in rivers and water bodies to perpetrate the illegality.

“Constant flushing of these people will help to solve the problem. Sometimes we have logistical problems, at times, you want the military to move but you don’t have the resources to support the military. The Ministry quite often send people from Accra to come and help”, Mr Mensah explained.

Already, the Regional Coordinating Council, through its enhanced surveillance, has stopped the spread of the activity to the Afigya Kwabre District.

Meanwhile, the Minister has endorsed the Asantehene’s call to hold traditional authorities accountable for illegal mining in their jurisdictions.

“Otumfuo is saying if you have galamsey in your area as a Chief then it means you are part so you will be interrogated. As he puts it, if someone had come to encroach on your land you will report it, why do you refuse to report if there is illegal mining?” the Regional Minister added.

The Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council is strategising to improve performance in the coming year.