Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Outgoing Minister of Lands and Natural Resources
About 20 illegal miners are feared dead at Banda Nkwanta, close to the Bui National Park in the Bole District of the Northern Region, after the pit in which they were mining caved in.
One person identified as an indigene of Navrongo in the Upper East Region, has so far been discovered by rescuers comprising members of the Banda Nkwanta Community and the Bole District Security Task Force.
Bole is the hometown of current President John Dramani Mahama, who recently branded Kyebi in the Eastern Region as the headquarters of ‘galamsey’ – illegal mining, while at his backyard the galamsey fire was consuming everybody because of unemployment.
The owner of the pit, one Umar Abdallah alias Anyway – a known National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist – DAILY GUIDE gathered, has been arrested by the Bole Police to assist in investigations while the area where the pit is located, has been cordoned off.
According to information gathered by this paper, the miners entered the pit last Monday afternoon to blast a rock in order to gain access to the precious mineral – gold.
After successfully breaking through, the pit purportedly caved in on them, prompting colleague illegal miners who tried rescuing them. They however only succeeded in retrieving the lifeless body of one person.
The attention of the District Security Council was drawn and the District Chief Executive (DCE) James Jaaga, with other members of DISEC, responded promptly, but they needed an excavator to enable them to retrieve the other bodies.
They therefore requested the services of one from Wenchi in the Brong-Ahafo Region while the residents were urged to find alternative ways of saving their kith and kin trapped for over 18 hours, but that still proved futile.
Mr. Jaaga told DAILY GUIDE that since the excavator arrived, no other body had been found.
According to him, the area the illegal miners were operating belonged to the Department of Game and Wildlife and reiterated calls for the authorities to flush them out in order to avoid the needless deaths.
Attempts by DAILY GUIDE to speak to managers of the Bui National Park – under whose jurisdiction this area falls – proved futile as reports suggested the manager was attending a workshop in Accra.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Abdul-Raman Suale, secretary of the National Small Scale Miners Association, Bole branch, who also confirmed the incident to DAILY GUIDE, blamed it on negligence on the part of the illegal miners.
From Stephen Zoure, Tamale
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