Despite government’s seeming aggressive effort to stop the menace, some galamsey operators at Akrofusu in the Eastern Region seem unperturbed.
The Assembly Member for the area, Kwaku Nyarko, who made this known to Citi News, lamented the effects of galamsey on water bodies and the environment as a whole.
“At Akrofusu, nobody has surrendered and no one has come here to ask them to surrender their equipment. They are still working. We only hear in the news that government has given them ultimatum, but there has not been any proper action. In my Akrofosu, the galamsey is still going on in and around the river.” R The Assembly Member further lamented that, the bank of the Birim River has been expanded following activities of the illegal miners.
“The pits are uncovered and as the rainy season beckons, the farmers are finding it very difficult to go to their farms because they don’t know where to pass. It is very difficult to cross the river and go to the farm. I’m now trying to discuss with the MP to construct a footbridge for us to cross the river. They have widened the Birim River.”
Mr. Nyarko said all efforts to halt such activities in the area have proved futile.
“In recent times, I tried fighting them and it nearly cost my life, and one man cannot fight this battle. We are now waiting for the government to take action. If the government does not support, it will be very difficult for an individual to do anything,” he added.
544 excavators moved from galamsey sites
Meanwhile, the Minerals Commission has told Citi News that about 544 excavators have so far been moved out illegal mining sites across the country, following the expiration of the ultimatum.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, the excavators have either been packed in the homes of their owners or on the streets.
He also said the recalcitrant illegal miners who ignore the ultimatum will have themselves to blame.
“From our checks, 544 excavators have moved voluntarily away from wherever they were, and we think that they were being used for illegal mining. That is our suspicion. But now, they have moved from wherever nook and cranny they were onto the road side, some have packed them in their homes.
So it is not for us to arrest them for now, because the machines have been brought from the operations, they are not doing anything. If they will be packed there and not do illegal mining, nobody will do anything to them.
If you go to Obuasi, Dunkwa, you will see a lot of them packed by the streets. So it’s about all of a sudden moving from hideouts to places where they are not doing anything,” he added.