Galamsey Operators Invade Wassa Forest

Some galamsey operators at work

Information DAILY GUIDE has gathered indicate that some illegal miners, known in the local parlance as galamsey operators, have invaded a forest belt at Wassa Amenfi in the Western Region.

The illegal miners have reportedly taken over portions of land at an area known as Block ‘B’ in the Wassa Forest Reserve at Wassa Juabo in the Wassa Amenfi East District of the region, for their activities.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the miners had not produced any document from the Minerals Commission authorizing them to begin prospecting for gold on the land and no compensation had been paid to anybody or group of persons either.

According to Madam Cecilia Gyenimaa Gyapong, a pensioner and farmer whose livelihood depends on the affected land, while she was working on the farm one day, a miner approached her.

She said that the miner claimed the concession had been given to a mining company to begin prospecting for gold and therefore warned her not to step on the land again.

She added that though the said miner claimed to have received the concession for prospecting, the company had begun operating and that some farmers had been falling into pits in an attempt to fetch water from the Ankobra River which lies near the farmlands.

Madam Gyenimaa further disclosed that the incident was reported to the police who mounted an operation at the site and arrested 15 people.

However, she said all the suspects were cautioned and granted police inquiry bail to report periodically whilst investigations continued.

According to her, the case was filed at the Tarkwa high court and the miner had been served with contempt but the company is still working on the land.

When some journalists visited the site, mining was seriously ongoing under the protection of three soldiers who told the media that they were dispatched from Accra to protect lives and properties at the site.

Later in an interview with ASP Valentine Akposu, Bekwai District Police Commander, he affirmed the arrest and said the case was being handled outside his jurisdiction. He however, denied having knowledge about the presence of the soldiers at the site.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi