Ghana’s Armed Forces have begun an intensive exercise aimed at keeping illegal miners away from the country’s water bodies. Their operations will augment the efforts of Operation Vanguard, the joint police and military task force tasked to fight galamsey. The intensive riverside operations, according to the Ghana Armed Forces commenced on Tuesday February 6, 2018 and is meant to halt the activities of some recalcitrant illegal miners who have “relocated their destructive activities unto major water bodies in Eastern Western, Ashanti, Central and Brong Ahafo Regions.”
“Currently personnel from the Ghana Navy, Army Engineers and units within the five (5) regions in conjunction with Operation Vanguard personnel are conducting simultaneous and robust military operations to destroy all floating mining equipment and flush out the illegal miners in order to halt the ongoing pollution of rivers and water bodies. The objective of the operations is to sustain the gains made by Operation Vanguard, a statement from the GAF and signed by its Director of Public Regions, E Aggrey-Quashie added.
The statement said although over 1,000 illegal miners have been arrested and their equipment seized by Operation Vanguard, “GAF deems it necessary to step up the riverine operations in order to maintain the improved security situation and curb the menace by the illegal miners on the river bodies in Eastern, Ashanti, Western, Central and Brong Ahafo Regions.”
GAF in the statement also noted that the riverine operations has, since its inception, led to the destruction of over 340 makeshift accommodations and mining equipment including chanfans, water pumping machines, motor cycles and tri-cycles deserted by illegal miners especially at Dokokyina around the Bui Dam. “Some of the water bodies on which the riverine operations are being undertaken include River Birim, River Ankobra, River Offin and the Bui dam,” the statement added.
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