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Galamsey fight: Lands Ministry sets up monitoring desk to enforce ban on mining in forest reserves

Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has set up a monitoring and evaluation desk to see to the implementation of the ban on mining activities in forest reserves and river bodies in the country.

The sector Ministry has also set up a call centre to receive reports on illegal mining activities from citizens from across the country.

Sector minister, Samuel Abudalai Jinapor made this known on Friday, April 30, 2021, at a press conference to update Ghanaians on the latest development.

“We gave instructed all persons engaged in illegal mining activities to suspend their activities and evacuate their equipment and the deadline is today. At the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, we have put together a monitoring and evaluation team headed by Hon. Benito who is a deputy minister-designate in my ministry,” he said.

Government last week directed persons undertaking prospecting activities in forest reserves across the country to indefinitely suspend such activities within 7 days .

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It also directed the Minerals Commission to desist from processing or granting any request for the renewal of prospecting licences in forest reserves.

It further ordered those already prospecting or undertaking reconnaissance to also exit the sites within seven days.

After the ultimatum ends today, Friday, April 30, 2021, all persons found engaging in such activities will be arrested and prosecuted.

Owusu-Bio defends ultimatum

Earlier, the Deputy Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio , rejected calls for the extension of the seven-day ultimatum.

According to him, the period is ample, given the fact that the machinery used for prospecting and reconnaissance does not take too long to be disassembled and moved.

“The seven-day ultimatum is still in force and if anyone today has any issue with the seven days, they need to write formally to the minister. I don’t think that the 7-day ultimatum is short. Seven days are enough because after all, you are doing prospecting, not mining,” he said.

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—citinewsroom