Two Yemeni nationals and a Ghanaian sub-chief have been arrested by the Akim Oda Divisional Police Command for alleged illegal mining at Akyem Oda in the Birim Central Municipality. The trio was picked up by the police at the mining site and sent to the Akim Oda Police station before being granted police inquiry bail.
However, the Coordinator for the Akim Oda community mining project, Nana Owusu Agyekum, who denied allegations of galamsey, said the Yemenites came to install components of a recycling machine and train his workers on the use of the machines for community mining.
Nana Owusu Agyekum spoke to the media at Asamankese shortly after he was released on bail, insisting that the two Yemeni nationals were investors who partnered with the community to promote environmentally-friendly mining. According to him, the partnership was to obtain better results in which water bodies and lands will not be destroyed. He urged the government to ban the importation of chanfans, which are the cheapest machines used for galamsey, in order to put an end to the menace of illegal mining.
The coordinator explained that the machines and equipment used in illegal mining are very cheap and accessible, making it possible for anyone to venture into the business provided they can acquire a land. He emphasized that illegal mining is the cheapest way of doing mining and called on the government to take necessary measures to curb the activity.
For the most part, galamsey has been identified as one of the major environmental issues in Ghana, leading to water pollution, destruction of farmlands, and degradation of the environment. Several campaigns and initiatives have been launched to stop illegal mining, but the menace continues to persist.
The government has been working to enforce the law, but it seems illegal miners continue to devise new strategies to outsmart the authorities. The recent arrests of the Yemeni nationals and Ghanaian sub-chief serve as a warning to individuals engaging in the illegal mining activity.
In a nutshell, the government must do more to curb the menace of illegal mining in Ghana. The importation of chanfans must be banned permanently to prevent people from obtaining the cheapest machines used in galamsey. The fight against illegal mining requires the collective efforts of everyone in the country, including community leaders, government officials, and the general public. Illegal mining not only poses a threat to the environment but also undermines the country’s economy and development.