Government sets up situation room on illegal mining

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The Monitoring and Evaluation Team of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for the enforcement of directives regarding the forest reserves and water bodies, has set up a situation room for receiving reports from the publics on breaches of the directives.

The head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Team, Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, indicated this set up in his reply to the Ministry’s directives in a letter dated April 30, 2021.

Benito Owusu Bio
Benito Owusu Bio

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The situation room, according to the letter, has been set up at the “Mezzanine Floor of Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC)” and will be “operational on weekdays from Tuesday 4th May, 2021 between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm.”

“Citizens, civil society, the media and the general public are encouraged to report any flouting of these directives or any other illegality relating to the mining sector,” the letter noted.

“The situation room may be contacted via telephone numbers 020 5001978 / 0303 941743 and e-mail – mlnr.ghana@gmail.com,” it added.

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That notwithstanding, Mr. Benito who is Deputy Minister-designate for the same ministry, stated in the letter that steps have been taken to ensure the enforcement of the directives which was expected to begin April 30, 2021.

When the Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor visited the Western region on a two-day tour, he noted that the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) would be instrumental in the fight against the menace by ensuring that the directives are enforced.

Mr. Benito in the letter noted in response that the REGSEC across the country, which are already mandated to enforce all the laws, regulations and/or directives in the mining sector, have been put in readiness to ensure enforcement of the directives.

The directives however came in effect when the Minister, in consultation with stakeholders in mining and forestry sectors, found it necessary to ban mining activities taking place within a range of 100 meters close to banks of water bodies and stop Prospecting and/or Reconnaissance activities in all Forest Reserves because the activities were having adverse effects on the environment.

 

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