Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor has issued a directive to the Forestry Commission against issuing any mining permits in forests.
Speaking at the Daboase Waterworks Treatment Plant of the Ghana Water Company in the Western Region, Mr Jinapor said the government will ensure small-scale mining is done responsibly and in an environmentally friendly manner so as to protect the forests and water bodies such as the Pra River.
“President Akufo-Addo and his government are not against mining in Ghana neither are we against small-scale mining.
“In fact, on the contrary, we want to promote small-scale mining and we want to do so on a regulated basis and in a responsible manner that does not compromise the river bodies and the environment”, Mr Jinapor said.
He noted that “since I became a minister, I have issued a directive to the Forestry Commission to no longer issue permit for mining in the forest”.
“It will mean that no one can walk into any forest to mine. Forests and river bodies are red lines no one should cross’’, the minister warned.
Mr Jinapor was among a high-powered government delegation led by Water and Sanitation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Clifford Braimah, and other officials who are on a three-day working visit to the Western Region to assess the extent of damage caused to water bodies by illegal miners.
A few days ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo said his fight against illegal small-scale mining will not be based on hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations.
At a national dialogue on small-scale mining organised by the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources in Accra on Wednesday, 14 April 2021, President Akufo-Addo, who has been criticised in the past for letting some of his appointees, who have been accused of aiding and abetting galamsey activities go scot-free, said he will only act on such whistle-blowing based on evidence.
“I’m determined to enforce the laws of illegal mining no matter the subject – high or low”, the President said.
“I’ll, however, not act on hearsay or mere allegations without more”, he noted.
However, he added: “I will not hesitate to act, though, when the evidence is hard before the police and I would do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved”.