President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday inaugurated a five-member inter-ministerial taskforce to fight against illegal small scale mining (galamsey) throughout the mining areas of the country.
The members are made up of: Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Chairman; Mr Mark Woyongo, Minister for Defence, member; Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Interior, member; Dr Joe Oteng Adjei, member and Ms Hannah Tetteh, member.
The taskforce would among other responsibilities seize all the equipment the illegal miners use, arrest and prosecute both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians engaged in small scale illegal mining, deport all non-Ghanaians engaged in the practice and revoke licenses of Ghanaians who have sub-leased their concessions to non-Ghanaians.
They would also hold Metropolitan, Municipal and District chief executives and district security councils accountable for any illegal mining activity in their areas of jurisdictions among other responsibilities.
President Mahama said their activities were dangerous to the environment and water bodies and government would therefore not allow such activities of individuals and groupings to cause conflict, dislocation, environmental degradation and unemployment in the country.
He said: ?Government is not against small scale mining, but want them to go through the required procedures that govern the mining sector.?
The President gave the assurance that government would promote licensed village cooperatives in terms of the small scale mining to enhance the chances of individuals and groups for them to improve on their infrastructure.
He indicated that the casualties and loss of lives at some areas and lawlessness and criminal behavior would no longer be countenanced under the taskforce.