Suspension of illegal mining in forest reserves appropriate
The new Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, has indicated his preparedness to fight illegal mining in line with the vision of President Akufo-Addo.
Towards this end, he has gone round certain parts of the country to see the devastation carried out by illegal small-scale mining otherwise known as ‘galamsey’
So passionate is he that he is collaborating with various agencies to ensure that the battle is won.
One important step he has taken is the suspension of such activities in forest reserves.
The suspension has become necessary because of the abuse usually encountered in such forest reserves.
Prospective miners always apply for licences that enable them to undertake prospective exploration. Such a licence does not allow them to mine the resources.
They are only required to explore the area given them and find out the availability of precious minerals in the area.
It is when the exploration is done and their report made available to the authority concerned that they are given another licence to actually mine an area of mineral resources indicated to them.
Many of these mining organisations, upon receiving the licence for exploration, actually begin to mine the precious minerals in the reserves.
The Spectator views this as an abuse of the law which must not be entertained. The suspension of the activities in the forest reserves must, therefore, be enforced until some level of decency is arrived at.
The suspension must be closely monitored to find out whether it is being obeyed in line with the directive.
A system must also be put in place to ensure that, those monitoring the activities in the forest reserves are in turn closely monitored by others, so that the dishonest ones amongst them will be found out and punished.
The destruction of the environment by illegal mining is an eyesore and needs to be stopped immediately.
As Ghana joins more than 143 other countries to mark the World Environment Day today, the occasion should boost our awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
The young minister is determined to fight this canker and it is incumbent on well-meaning Ghanaians to help sanitise the sector.
This paper wishes him well in his crusade.