Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has warned those dealing in repairs, molding and selling of chanfan and its parts to desist from it as offenders could be jailed for 15 or 20 years.
The Minister revealed this during an interview with Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom on Adom FM’s current affairs show Burning Issue.
There have several calls on government to close down shops that deal in sale of chanfan parts.
Those making the call believe those who use the machine to destroy water bodies in the name of mining will find it difficult to get broken part(s) for their machine and that will stop them from going to mine in water, thereby, saving the country’s water bodies.
The Minister in charge of mining, speaking with Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom, said there is a law that bars chanfan in the country.
“The Section 6 of the mining amendment act states that a person who fabricates, manufactures or uses a floating platform or other equipment for mining, dredging or any other mode of mining for the purpose of obtaining minerals in or along the banks of a natural water body including a river, a stream, the exclusive economic zone and any area covered by the territorial sea or continental chef of the Republic of Ghana commits an offense,’’ he said.
He stated again that a culprit(s) is liable to a summary conviction to a fine not less than 50,000 penalty units and not more than 100,000 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years and not more than 25 years or to both, the fine and the imprisonment.
“All those selling the chanfan fall under the act but one major challenge is that, those who are selling chanfan spare parts tell us the parts are for spraying machines which people usually buy to fix the broken spraying machine to help them spray their farms,’’ he added.
On whether or not chiefs will be included in the fight against galamsey, the minister in charge of mining, Mr Duker explained that chiefs cannot be exonerated from illegal mining activities in their communities or towns.
To him, before a mining company is given certificate to operate, the chief of that community or town also append his signature to signify his approval before the company starts to operate so if there is any mining activity going on in a community or town at the blind side of any chief, then that mining is illegal.