The performance sheet of government’s militarisation of the fight against illegal mining has been pulled out showing a 10% conviction rate after more than 1370 arrests.
Of the 247 Chinese nationals arrested, only 22 have been convicted.
The National Commander of Operation Vanguard, Colonel Michael Amoah-Ayisi, while praising the work of his men, expressed disappointment at how justice has delayed and dented their success.
“The adjudication process are quite bureaucratic…we have a lot of backlogs,” he told Joy News Friday.
Despite the low rate, Operation Vanguard has calculated success as how so much high the illegal activity would flourish but for that August 1, 2017 launch of a military campaign.
Operation vanguard one year
Counting the spoils of this war on illegal mining, he said; “if you look at the quantum of equipment that we have seized and those that we have destroyed. If all of them were working at their full rate for almost one year without any intervention, the problem would have been very serious”
But another different barometer of Operation Vanguard’s success has been offered by the Managing Director of the Ghana Water company, Dr. Clifford Abdallah who has painted a gloomy picture.
According to him, before illegal mining reached menacing levels, the GWC used three bags of aluminium sulphate to treat water for consumers.
At the perceived height if the menace, this shot up to 12 bags.
“Our cost of operations has gone up four times and once we cannot increase the tariff of our water by four times, supply for consumers is threatened” he has said.
The one-year-old intervention by Operations Vanguard saw a marked reduction from 12 bags to five, he highlighted impact although not for long because he said the company has now had to use 10 bags.
“What it means is that we are losing the fight against the galamsey menace,” he delivered his verdict
The coordinator of the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), Dr Isaac Karikari was full of praise for the soldiers but also reported the anxiety of the World Bank that the approach has ‘not been effective’.
According to him, the Bank has forecast, government could be spending $20m if it keeps boots on the ground.