An illegal miner was caught red-handed in the Western region following the expiration of an ultimatum to illegal mining operators to vacate their unauthorised mining sites.

The middle-aged man, Nana Agyapong, was caught in the act of mining in a water body at Hiawa in the Western region

Chanced upon by the Minister and media entourage, Nana Agyapong pleaded with the Minister, explaining he was driven by poverty to destroy the environment in search of gold.

The Minister after threats and warnings asked the man to ‘go and sin no more’.

The generator the illegal miner use to power the water pumping machine for his mining was seized, but the forgiven miner pushed his luck begging the minister to return the generator.

He explained to the Minister and his entourage he rented the generator. His pleas were ignored and the media entourage continued with its first-hand examination of the destructive effects in galamsey-plagued areas in the Western Region.

The team visited Daboase where a water treatment plant had been shut down due to destructive mining activities. Other areas include Prestea, Dominase, Dwira Takunta and Hiawa.

galamsey tour

Photo: Peter Amewu in red cap surveys the level of destruction of a water source

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 excavators 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.