A combined anti-galamsey (illegal mining) task-force and monitoring team in the Upper-Denkyira East and West Districts in the Central Region has confiscated and destroyed 26 dredging boats and 58 dredging engines used by illegal miners on the Offin River.
The illegal miners who, usually operate at night in the river around Subin Hill, Kyekyewere, Akwaboso and Asamang, ran away upon seeing the task force.
The task-force and monitoring team is made up of the small scale miners association in the two districts, security forces, the district assembly and the traditional authorities of the area.
The ‘Operation Stop Illegal Mining’ is aimed at flushing out illegal miners who are still operating within the Offin River despite government’s crackdown on their activities and the ban on small scale mining.
Speaking to Citi News today (Tuesday), Public Relations Officer of the Small Scale Miners Association of Dunkwa-on-Offin, Peter Ayikey, said, “It is all about (cleansing) the water bodies”.
Peter Ayikey indicated, “whether you are a legal miner or not, whether you have the documents or not, you have to stop. That is why we won’t sit down for these illegal miners to destroy our names, so we ourselves will help the government to get rid of them.”
“Sometimes, we find these illegal miners work at night and day near the river, and we arrest them, confiscate their equipment, burn them and hand over the ‘galamseyers’ to the Dunkwa-on-Offin police for prosecution”, he added.
The team has revealed a total of four hundred dredging boats and eight hundred and fifty engines have been confiscated and destroyed few months into their operation, promising it is resolved to continue fighting the illegal activities.
Though the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has banned small scale mining and all forms of illegal mining across the country, there have been several media reports on some illegal miners still operating on some key water bodies and forest reserves.
At least, two different recent incidents of illegal mining pits collapsing and killing operators have been reported in the Western and Ashanti Regions.