The World Bank is to support the implementation of the government’s Multi-Sectorial Integrated Mining Project (MSIMP) with US$ 50 million.
Out of the amount, US$30 million will be loan and US$20 million will be a grant.
Dr Isaac Bonsu Karikari, the acting National Project Coordinator for the MSIMP, announced this at a town hall meeting organised by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) at Osino, one of the communities affected by illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, in the Eastern Region on Saturday, May 26, 2018.
He explained that the MSIMP was to ensure responsible and sustainable small-scale mining in the country and also ensure that all players in the small-scale mining chain, including landlords, traditional authorities, communities, the government and the mining companies, benefit from small-scale mining.
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Dr Karikari said under the project, district assemblies would establish mining committees with trained personnel who would monitor and ensure responsible and sustainable mining in their districts
He said all excavators in the country would be registered and tracked, so that they could easily be captured on drones when used for illegal mining for the easy arrest of the owners.
He said the ban on small-scale mining would soon be lifted but could not give any date.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Tettey, said mining committees had been established in the districts to support the fight against illegal mining.
He called for collaboration and cooperation among all players in the fight against illegal mining.
A member of the Operation Vanguard team, Squadron Leader Omani Agyei, called for stiffer punishment for people arrested for engaging in illegal mining.
He appealed for low loaders to enable the Operation Vanguard team to move excavators and heavy machines seized from the illegal miners, from the forest to safety.
Squadron Leader Agyei said the the team needed drones to be able to detect illegal miners operating in the bush.
He said since its operations began, the team had seized 101 guns and 2,347 pieces of ammunition from illegal miners.
The Eastern Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Addo Kyere, said illegal mining, among other things, brought along increased population and pressure on social amenities.
He said in some cases, host communities suffered increased family breakdowns, as married women went after rich illegal miners and many young women got pregnant without husbands and ended up producing bustards for the country.
Earlier in an address, Mr Nii Laryea Sowah of the MCAG explained that the MCAG was established to fight against illegal mining when the media realised that the government was failing to provide the required leadership to halt the destruction of river bodies, forests and the threat to the lives of Ghanaians by the activities of illegal miners.