Joint galamsey taskforce unnecessary- Mahama Ayariga

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Mahama Ayariga

MP for Bawku Central and Chairman of Parliament's Subsidiary Legislation Committee Mahama Ayariga, says it's unnecessary for government to use the military and police to end illegal mining in the country.

Mahama Ayariga wants government to rather probe to understand the issues on illegal mining before taking action to curb the situation.

President Akuffo-Addo upon the assumption of office launched a campaign against illicit small scale mining, after public outcry on the devastating consequences on farmlands and river bodies.

A joint task force of the military and police have been deployed to the most affected regions of the country, Ashanti, Eastern and Western,  to enforce a ban on small scale mining in the next phase of the campaign.

Read: Graphic boss wants influential people fueling galamsey named and shamed.

The task force under code name Operation Vanguard on Sunday shot dead one suspected illegal miner Kwabena Agyemang, 31, after a clash with some of the miners at Obuasi in the Ashanti region.

Speaking on JoyFM's Newsfile, Mahama Ayariga said the issues on the ground needed to be understood by the government before action is taken. According to him, government has to figure out the systems and fix the problem from the roots.

He revealed that most of the suspected illegal miners are already working with the various District Assemblies and pay reclamations to them. Due to this, the indigenes believe they are not engaging in illegal activity. 

Watch: How the Galamsey bulldozer of an NPP member was torched by Operation Vanguard

He lamented the denial of licenses to small scale miners by the Minerals Commission, often with the reason that the lands they are requesting to mine has already been given out, when there is clearly no one mining on the land.

Mahama Ayariga advised government to license these individuals and set up offices for the Environmental Protection Agency in these areas to monitor the miners and make sure they comply with the various environmental laws.

He believes that with this approach Ghana will find a lasting solution to illegal mining in the country