Chief Executive Officer of the State Transport Corporation (STC), Nana Akomea has called on the government to investigate issues regarding the burning of excavators used in illegal mining.
The Military was sanctioned to burn any excavator found within restricted areas for mining in the nation.
The Ghana Armed Forces, on Friday, May 7, 2021, commenced “Operation Halt 2” to stop illegal gold mining activities along with the river bodies and forest reserves in the country.
“Operation Halt 2″ is a second phase of the Military action to remove persons and machinery in the mining areas with the aim of restoring the river bodies to their purest form.
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, Tuesday, May 11, updated Ghanaians on the Military operations since their deployment to the mining areas during a ”Meet the Press” organized by the Ministry of Information.
Defence Minister’s Statements
Speaking to the press, the Minister revealed that the Military has since set fire to twenty-eight (28) excavators and further destroyed 267 changfang machines and five (5) canoes among other mining machinery.
The activity was undertaken along the river bodies specified in the President’s statement such as River Pra and other areas prohibited for mining.
Within the specified areas, the Armed Forces destroyed twenty-eight (28) excavators. The last time it was nine (9) but this time 28 excavators were destroyed. It’s clear to me that people are not listening. In fact, they don’t care . . . Two hundred and sixty-seven (267) changfang machines with platforms were destroyed . . . A changfang is a floating vessel or floating platform where they sink some pipes under and scoop the sand and wash the sand in the middle of the river with chemicals. If you have a river where you have over 300 such machines washing every minute for 24 hours, you could imagine the devastation that this will cause to the people of Ghana.
“So, you could imagine the damage that these people are causing to the kidneys of the young people in the area, innocent young people. How many of them will be able to buy excavators but they’re forced to drink this now orange-looking water because somebody says I must make money. It’s terrible. So, 28 excavators were destroyed, 267 changfang machines with the platforms were destroyed, 18 water-pumping machines were destroyed, 1 milling machine was destroyed, 1 dredging machine was destroyed, 2 industrial pumps – huge industrial pumps – were also destroyed, 10 plastic fuel tanks were destroyed, 5 canoes were destroyed, 1 wooden accommodation building destroyed…”, the Minister said.
Alleged Kate Gyamfua’s Burned Excavators
In executing their duties, the soldiers have reportedly burned some excavators allegedly belonging to the NPP National Women’s Organizer, Kate Gyamfua.
Kate Gyamfua is alleged to be involved in galamsey and her excavators have been destroyed to serve as a deterrent to other illegal miners.
Nana Akomea calls for investigations
Reacting to the news during a panel discussion on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”, Nana Akomea stated there should be thorough investigations to ascertain the truth about whether or not the burned excavators were used to do galamsey.
To him, no person, whether of the government or the NPP or any other party should be allowed to engage in galamsey, however, those with mining licence and using their excavators for legal mining mustn’t be affected by the operations of the Military.
Therefore, he asked the relevant authorities to conduct investigations to address the contradicting reports on the burned excavators.
“There must be investigations into it. If we investigate and it turns out that the machines which have been burned were not used at a forest reserve or on a river, it means the task force has made a mistake. Whether you’re a party member or not, a big man or big woman, if you’re caught; we will deal with you. But there are reports that some of the machines shouldn’t have been burned; let’s launch investigations into it to find out the truth,” he told host Nana Yaw Kesseh.