Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor says government will embark on a massive reclamation effort across the country to give degrading mining sites a facelift.
Despite efforts at fighting illegal mining otherwise known as galamsey, the practice still persists, leaving its trails of abandoned pits that destroy lands and sometimes trap unsuspecting citizens.
At a major reclamation exercise in Asiwa in the Busome Freho District in the Ashanti Region, the Minister announced a national scale effort to address the dangers of lands left without being reclaimed.
“The President is taking the view that we work to reclaim these degraded mine sites with all the attendant consequences that we are familiar with. Pits and the landscape are totally being destroyed so essentially, what we are trying to do is to have this roll out of the massive reclamation exercise across the country and this is just one of them”, he said.
The Ministry has resolved to work and sanitise the lands and natural resources sector of the country.
To this end, the government has rolled out this massive reclamation initiative to ensure the restoration of degraded lands to their previous state.
Mr. Jinapor, says, the roll-out will be targeted at lands that have been degraded as a result of illegal mining.
“The Southern part of our country has been degraded as a result of illegal small scale mining and the President is taking the view that we work to reclaim these degraded mined-out sites with all the attendant consequences as we are all familiar with. What we intend to do is to have a massive roll-out across the country,” Mr. Jinapor said.
The Minister said the government will ensure that small-scale miners re-vegetate mined-out sites to prevent degradation.
“Small scale miners excavate the land and leave behind these degraded mine sites and the taxpayer has to cough up money to reclaim the lands, and therefore we will insist on concurrent reclamation and re-vegetation. When you excavate, you reclaim and re-vegetate.”
Over 200 military personnel were deployed to flush out illegal miners destroying water bodies in the country under the Operation Halt campaign.
After several months of operation, the Minister has indicated that the country is not out of the woods yet in the fight against the menace.