The Western North Regional House of Chiefs in Ghana is seeking the government to deploy security personnel to the region to protect the operations of large-scale mining firms against the activities of illegal miners.
Ogyeahohuo Yaw Gyebi II, President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, made the calling and said the activities of the illegal miners, popularly referred to as “galamsey,” was disruptive to the operations of companies. If unresolved urgently, the situation, he said, would drive away investors and further make investments in the area unattractive to future investors.
“Galamseyers are harming mining operations at Bibiani and other areas. We ask that you liaise with the Ministries of Defence and the Interior to bring Operation Halt here to deal with the threat. Investors here are losing their assets and money due to the ‘galamseyers.’ This is a major problem because it means we cannot attract investors for concessions here that would have created employment opportunities for our youth,” Nana Ogyeahohuo stated.
Community Mining Scheme
He urged the Ministry to expedite processes leading to the introduction of Community Mining Scheme in the region to create jobs for the youth and deter others from engaging in illegal mining. Ogyeahohuo Yaw Gyebi II also advised the Ministry and the Minerals Commission to localise the acquisition of mining license regime to make it less stressful for miners to acquire license.
To ensure the safety of citizens and make mining in the area health risk-free, the Chief asked government to relocate communities affected by mining operations. On his part, Mr Jinapor assured of the government’s plan to build strong collaboration with chiefs in the management of the county’s mineral resources saying that
“No plan and strategy for the sustainable exploration of our resources can work without the inputs of traditional authorities. In the coming weeks, he said the President would launch a programme, dubbed, National Alternative Livelihood and Employment for Illegal Miners, designed to create jobs for ex-galamseyers,” said Mr Jinapor.