Rivers, Ponds Sold To Chinese Miners

It has emerged that some Ghanaians have claimed ownership of rivers and ponds, and sold them out to Chinese illegal small scale miners for their activities. Mr. Stephen Piadu, Chief Inspector of Mines revealed this when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini paid a day’s working visit to the Minerals Communication of Ghana, on Monday. This has resulted in the massive pollution of some water bodies in the country through the galamsey operations, thus putting the lives of people or consumers in Danger. Though the chief inspector of mines did not mention names openly, he told “The Ghanaian Times” in an interview that, he could not rule out some chiefs, opinion leaders, Assembly Members and politicians, in this practice. He, therefore, made a passionate appeal to Alhaji Fuseini to use his good offices investigate the issue. Mr. Piadu said that the Minerals Commission was working round the clock to find a holistic solution to this menace and urged the minister to canvass support from other Ministers, Metropolitan, and District Chief Executives to join the fight against illegal mining in their respective areas. On his part, the minister said that foreigners were not allowed under the country’s laws, to engage in any forms of mining, and pledged to join the fight in bringing perpetrators to book. According to him information gathered point to the fact that the illegal mining which has assumed alarming proportions in Ghana is being supported by some wealthy people in Mumbai and Beirut, and said this allegation must be investigated. Alhaji Fuseini said that Ghanaians who wanted to do small scale mining should acquire licenses from the Minerals Commission. He said that the war against illegal mining could not be won by any individual except team work, adding that Ghanaians, who front for foreigners and lease their earth moving machines to them for the wanton degradation of the environment, would be arrested and prosecuted while the equipment, too, would be confiscated to the state. He, however, warned staff of the Minerals Commission against conniving with illegal miners and said that the law would take its cause should any be caught. “I come from an area where there is no gold, but that does not mean that, I should stand aloft for some miscreants to degrade the environment and put our lives in jeopardy. “Let us, therefore, adopt innovative ways of combating the menace of illegal small scale miners in the country and stop them from poisoning our farmlands and water bodies,” he said. Alhaji Fuseini commended the Commission for its hard work but asked management to be transparent in their dealings with people who come to them for help.