May 27, 2014

Member of Parliament for Prestea Huni Valley Constituency, Francis Adu Blay Koffie, is asking officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minerals Commission to increase their efforts in monitoring in mining areas to halt the steady destruction of lands due to galamsey.

“Today, as we are speaking our cemeteries are being mined ….the other areas forest reserves are being mined so we need to get a no go area so that no mining company will be given the permit to go and mine there,” he said.

The surge in illegal mining activities in Ghana is gradually rendering the country’s lands and natural resources useless.

Despite moves by a presidential taskforce to tackle the problem, illegal mining is continually increasing.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, based on the directives of the Eastern Regional Security Council also arrested one hundred and twenty-five (125) Nigeriens engaged in illegal mining activities in Kyebi in the Eastern Region last month.

According to the MP, the Minerals Commission officials “sit in the comfort of their office and issue mining license instead of going down there to the ground [mining sites] to verify what is actually happening.”

In an interview with Citi News, the MP further noted that the Commission’s lethargic attitude towards work is causing conflicts and poverty in those areas.

“There is always a clash between two investors and that brings a lot of controversy, it creates lot problems for the state,” he explained.

Mr. Blay Koffie also expressed fears that the problem could get worse following plans by the major mining companies to lay off thousands of workers in the next few months.