Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, was visibly furious when he witnessed the gross destruction of the Oda River Forest Reserve in the Ashanti Region by illegal miners.
Some alleged illegal Chinese miners with support from their supposed Ghanaian facilitators are said to be behind the mining activities in the Forest Reserve.
Upon seeing the gross destruction of the Reserve on Thursday, January 16, 2020, the Minister ordered officials of the Forestry Commission to burn some mining equipment at about two sites in the Reserve.
The equipment was torched with the help of fuel and diesel in several gallons and tanks on site.
Fuel tanks belonging to the illegal miners were equally destroyed as the angry Minister declared that drastic punitive actions would be taken against those engaged in galamsey.
The illegal miners popularly called galamseyers briefed their way through the Reserve and destroyed it greatly.
They fell several trees and created pits in the Reserve as they carried out their mining activities.
Two Chinese were arrested earlier on January 7, 2020, for mining in the Reserve and released on bail.
But the Minister said more dramatic actions were required in fighting the illegal miners.
About Oda River Forest
The Oda River Forest Reserve derives its name from the Oda River that drains through the Reserve.
It lies within the Southwest corner of the Bekwai Forest District.
The Oda River Forest Reserve is a U-shaped with a flattering base running North.
Ghana’s mining following a Cabinet directive makes mining in forest reserves an illegal act.
The new mining law prescribes a minimum prison term of 15 years and a maximum prison term of 25 years for illegal mining.
Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh says President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Government commitment to fighting illegal mining remains unwavering, urging those interested in mining to go through the legal process.
BY Melvin Tarlue|DGN Online