An elder of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr. R. O. Frimpong-Manso, has called for the formation of an inter-party committee against illegal mining in the country.
The inter-party committee, he said, should be under the chairmanship of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, and meet intermittently to review the fight against illegal mining.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr. Frimpong-Manso explained that all political parties were complicit in one way or the other in supporting illegal mining hence the need to deal with the problem once and for all with the involvement of all political parties.
He explained that although the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources organized a two-day national dialogue on addressing the illegal mining menace, it was not enough to invite political parties to make submissions or be present at the series.
He said the continuous review of the fight against illegal mining the inter-party committee would help deal with the problem permanently.
Although the government despatched 200 soldiers in the aftermath of the dialogue to fight illegal mining, Mr. Frimpong-Manso said it was not enough because it could be seen as acting on the spur of the moment.
He cited the activities of Operation Vanguard, which was hailed many Ghanaians but ended up achieving virtually nothing.
Mr. Frimpong-Manso further called for the establishment of a Miners’ Brigade to be permanently stationed in the regions and districts to enforce the laws on mining.
He said such trainees should also be imbibed with the spirit of discipline and nationalism so that they do not deviate from the task assigned to them.
He said apart from being provided with paramilitary training, members of the brigade with a minimum qualification of senior high school (SHS) certificate should also be schooled on all mining laws to enable them to appreciate the task ahead of them.
He said the use of the military should only serve as a backup in case of challenges of law enforcement.
Mr. Frimpong-Manso said failure to address the illegal mining menace would greatly impact negatively on not only the country’s food crops but cocoa production as well.
He, therefore, called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to deal with the illegal mining menace.
He explained that although some communities might not be directly affected illegal mining, the impact of water pollution and crop production would affect every Ghanaian.
The government, on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, deployed 200 military personnel to flush out illegal miners destroying water bodies in the country.
The deployment was based on the suggestions the government received during the Stakeholder Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining which took place from April 14 to 15, 2021.
The government recently renewed its commitment to fight illegal mining at a National Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining, where stakeholders urged the government to take steps to strictly apply the country’s mining laws.
Listen to this article A flagbearer hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress…