Major Mohammed Bogobiri (retired) middle, addressing the media
A FORMER military officer, Major Mohammed Bogobiri, who was a member of the 2013 inter-ministerial taskforce against illegal mining, has called on the government to temporarily ban the movement of diesel in gallons and containers in galamsey sites.
He said implementing the ban would improve the efforts to stop illegal mining operations popularly known as galamsey and bring sanity into the mining sector.
He wants the implementation of the ban to be done alongside the seizure of heavy mining equipment, such as excavators and bulldozers, at illegal mining sites around the country.
The destruction of the environment and water bodies by the use of heavy mining equipment has come under increasing scrutiny in recent times, as concerns about their impact on potable water have grown.
Officials of the Ghana Water Company have said shortages of pipe-borne water are linked to pollution of water bodies by illegal miners.
Addressing the media in Kumasi yesterday, Major Bogobiri(retired) stated that the effects of irresponsible mining had come about as a result of the illegal use of sophisticated equipment by the artisanal miners.
According to him, artisanal small-scale mining, which he indicated was a way of life of some communities, requires simple implements, but this has evolved over the years with the operators now using inappropriate and unsafe technologies.
His desire is to also see the presence of national security personnel at various mining sites after a 30-day clampdown on galamsey activities after which checkpoints must be set up to prevent the operators from returning.
The former military officer said his call falls within the national action plan to stop illegal mining which requires the collaborative effort of all stakeholders.
He disclosed that there were several laws that prohibited small-scale mining in areas close to water bodies, townships, wildlife sanctuaries, forest reserves, cemeteries and sacred grooves, but these had been abused.
According to him, despite the efforts, the problem remains mainly due to the connivance and complicity of key actors and stakeholders and lack of enforcement.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi