‘Galamstop’ Taskforce for protection of Birim River inaugurated
The Minister of Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has inaugurated a “Galamstop” Taskforce to protect the Birim River and its tributaries in the Eastern Region from pollution.
The 62-member taskforce have been given training in diving, swimming and other techniques at Asutuare to aid them in their activities, while boats have been acquired to facilitate their work on the river.
The taskforce was inaugurated at a stakeholders’ meeting on illegal mining in Kwabeng in the Atiwa West District in the Eastern Region.
The event brought together participants from five mining districts and municipalities, namely Denkyembour, Atiwa East and West, Fanteakwa South and Abuakwa South.
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According to Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, the meeting was also intended to fashion out ways to stop illegal mining activities in the Birim River, adding that “things are improving but we want dramatic improvement in the Birim River that is why we are engaging you.”
The minister explained that it was in line with this that the government confiscated many excavators to prevent illegal miners, including foreigners, from aggravating the situation.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the government was committed to ensuring that people did not carry out illegal mining activities in water bodies.
“We are also using drones to gather some information on activities of the illegal miners.
We have provided 15 drones and trained drone pilots to help the “Operation Vanguard” in their operations,” he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng further emphasised that it was illegal to dredge, mine in rivers or use chemicals in water bodies for minerals.
The Director of Operations for the “Galamstop” Taskforce, Mr Kingston Akomeng Kissi, gave an assurance that his team would work assiduously to realise their objectives of keeping the Birim River clean at all times.
For his part, the Managing Director of Kibi Goldfields, Mr Kofi Agyemang, called on other large-scale miners in the region to come together and form an association to ensure best practices in their respective mining operations.