General News of Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Finance Minister, said due to government’s resolve to fight illicit mining, most of the rivers that were polluted are being reversed to their normal state despite the challenges.
He said more than 1,300 earth moving equipment have so far been taken out from the mining sites, adding; “our rivers are showing signs of improvement, thereby returning our treatment plants back to work”.
He has, however, admitted that the fight against illegal mining had not seen any significant result as at now, and so government had put together the five-year project called Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), to address the problem.
The MMIP is expected to create over 500,000 job opportunities in phases, the Minister said.
Presenting the Mid-Year Budget Review to Parliament on Monday, Mr Ofori- Atta said the MMIP would also involve the training of 100,000 small scale miners, reclaiming 7,140 kilometers of total land size in Ghana, prospecting of 2,500 kilometers, build skills for employment, create 100,000 jobs including the creation of 20,000 acres of oil palm plantation.
Mr Ofori Atta said government had constituted a seven-member ministerial team to provide a medium term solution, while disbursing GHC56 million towards an emergency programme.
He said most of the mining degraded areas had also been tested for mercury levels and were ready for reclamation.
He said over 3,000 floating platforms on most of the rivers in the Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Western and Brong Ahafo regions had been removed from those rivers.