About 50 excavators, 99 chamfan, water pumping machines and other equipment have been destroyed by operation halt, the military task force set by government to fight the phenomenon of illegal mining popularly known as galamsey. The problem of illegal mining has been a major headache for successive governments.
This was a major campaign message in the run up to the 2016 presidential and parliament elections with the then flag bearer and now president of the republic Nana Addo Dankwa-Akuffo Addo and the New Patriotic Party promising to help fight the canker if voted into power. A promise they kept by launching Operation Vanguard in 2017 to combat the menace.
Fast-forward the operation vanguard was disbanded in 2021 paving the way for operation halt to set in.
As part of their routine operations to the various illegal mining sites, the team storm various sites within the Amansie Central district in the Ashanti region where an unimaginable level of devastation has been caused by the illegal miners.
The team visited a number of illegal mining sites and destroyed about 50 excavators, 99 chanfan and over 200 water pumping machines
Addressing the media, Brigadier General Joseph A. Aphour ,General officer commanding ,Central command said” you are aware our sole mandate given by the military high command is to ensure that illegal miners who are destroying our water bodies and the forest reserves , some of them Cocoa farms, and particularly our water bodies so alarming and I think that we should not allow such thing to happen to this country”
General Aphour also said they have observed with worrying trend where these recalcitrant illegal miners quickly return when they know that the military are no more there. He said “I believe we will chase them ton wherever they are and we will ensure this operation once the high command decides to extend the mandate to continue as much as we can to ensure that our lands, our river bodies and our forest reserves are cleared”
He also alluded to the fact that since their deployment Wednesday they have been very successful in their operations and they will continue to press hard until they flash out these illegal miners from our rivers and forest reserves. The operations in due course will be extended to other regions within the command such as the Bono region, the Bono east the Ahafo regions that is when the higher command gives them the authority.
He also ceased the opportunity to reach to the people of Obuasi, the Amansie Cental area to help the operation because the destruction been done by these illegal miners goes deep their hearts because they are the people who are suffering the consequences most if the rivers are all choked, the forest reserves are all choked, they don’t have lands to farm water to drink, it them that will suffer most.
By: Ghanaba Justice Dzivon