Dozens of Burkinabes have invaded Nyafoman and Noyem communities in Birim North Municipalities in the Eastern region engaging in illegal mining.
These illegal miners use different methods to mine which is fast deteriorating the environment.
The Chief of Noyem Nana Ansah Sasraku said the illegal miners are using dangerous chemicals to mine in river bodies which have led to the deaths of domesticated animals who drink from the polluter rivers. He appealed to the Eastern Regional Security Council to intervene.
This was revealed at a stakeholder engagement meeting on responsible mining at Nkawkaw participated various mining companies, chiefs, and other stakeholders in Kwahu West, Kwahu East, and Birim North districts, the Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong said the era when mining companies engaged in infractions but escaped unpunished is a thing of the past.
The Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong said recalcitrant illegal miners who have resumed their illicit activities will soon be dealt with.
According to him, President Akufo Addo led government is committed to securing a sustainable environment for the future generation therefore will ensure that forest reserves, water bodies, and all other natural ecosystems are secured and protected from pollution and degradation.
The Regional minister stressed that mining companies must seriously respect the 100-meter buffer zone for roads, forest reserves, streams, rivers, railway lines, and 300 meters from electric pillion and national installations as captured in the cadastral map and established by regulations.
He said mining in forest reserves and water bodies is prohibited.
The Eastern Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Felix Addo-Okyere charged the Municipal and District Assemblies to ensure that mining companies that come to their jurisdiction to operate produce valid lease, digging, and Environmental permits before they are granted business operating permits.
He emphasized that only seven large- and small-scale mining companies are recognized to have met all the requirements and permitted to operate in the region, however, noted some six other mining companies without a full permit in the region.
He warned them to complete the processes before undertake any mining activity.
The Eastern Regional Director of the Minerals Commission Joshua Quaye – Sowah, noted that some mining companies beginning their permit acquisition processes use prospecting licenses to surreptitiously engage in mining. He said such acts constitute illegality and firms’ fond culpable will be dealt with according to law.
Some of the stakeholders mainly chiefs from mining communities bemoaned the pollution of water bodies and destruction of cocoa farms by illegal miners in their communities.
#Ahenkanfmonline / 93.3 FM