Craze For Gold Worrying – Darfour

The Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour, has expressed concern at what he describes as an unwarranted craze for gold in the country which is giving rise to activities of illegal miners.

According to him, the situation has reached a stage where the illegal miners are now going the extra mile of using sophisticated machinery to mine even in water bodies, thereby creating problems for the nation.

Speaking during a stakeholder’s forum on activities of Operation Vanguard [Government’s security taskforce to stop illegal small-scale mining] in parts of the Eastern Region, Mr Darfour noted that though mining activity cannot be outlawed, it must be streamlined so as to avert or minimise the negative effects on the country.

The meeting followed the acrimony between the taskforce and some residents of mining communities in the Eastern Region in recent times.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: “My grandmother tells me that when she was 10 years old – and she lived for 110 years – she used to follow her parents to hunt for gold on the ground. But of late what do we see? Everybody seems to be engaged in picking the gold of Ghana as if Ghana is coming to an end. Everybody wants to find his pound of gold so that when Ghana comes to an end tomorrow, then I will have mine and you’ll have yours. I don’t think we can continue like this as a nation. And what is worse, instead of mining on ground, we have now chosen to mine on our river bodies because of technology, because of the knowledge that some people have. We now sit on our river bodies and mine the river beds. In the Eastern Region, all our major rivers have been contaminated, have been polluted with all kinds of materials.”