Identify, Prosecute Sponsors Of Illegal Mining — Dr Lartey

The Leader of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, has called on the government to identify and prosecute sponsors of illegal mining in the country.
According to him, while the youth were engaged in illegal mining, destroying water bodies and farmlands at the risk of their lives, their proprietors, who benefited from their sweat, enjoyed their booty in the cities. 

Dr Lartey said without the arrest and prosecution of the sponsors, they (sponsors) would continue to enjoy their booty to the detriment of the present and future generations.


In an interview with the Daily Graphic on the government’s reactivation of the fight against illegal mining, Dr Lartey also suggested that seized excavators, changfans and other equipment used for illegal mining should be allocated to appropriate agencies and farmlands reclaimed for other useful purposes.


Describing those engaged in illegal mining as greedy, selfish and insensitive, Dr Lartey said such people should not only be fished out, but also named, shamed and jailed to prevent them from mingling with law-abiding citizens.

“The government’s initiative of sanitising the environment through the involvement of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) is in the right direction, but I am of the view that instead of  just seizing and burning illegal mining equipment, the government should set its investigative machinery in motion to hunt for all those involved in such illegality of amassing wealth at the expense of the present and future generations,” he stated.


Four years ago, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government launched the Operation Vanguard Taskforce with the view of halting all illegal mining activities across the country, but the  operation was shortlived as many rivers, including Pra, Offin, Ankobra, Densu and Tano which had been the main sources of potable water in various communities, continued to suffer massive destruction, making it difficult for the Ghana Water Company to pump water for domestic and industrial usage.

 Determined to salvage the water bodies from the illegal miners, the government has relaunched another operation, dubbed ‘Operation Halt’, with the GAF solely in charge to clear all illegal miners from water bodies and other mining centres.

The GAF has also been mandated to destroy all excavators, changfans and any equipment  found in their operation areas, and so far, about nine excavators and 200 changfans are said to have been burnt.