In line with the Government’s objective of Decentralizing the Regulation and Management of Mining activities in the country, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. George Mireku Duker has inaugurated twelve (12) District Mining Committees in the Eastern Region.
The districts are West Akim Municipality, Kwaebibirem District, Atiwa East District, Atiwa West District, Ayensuano District, Upper West Akim District, and Dekyembour District.
The rest are Birim North District, Abuakwa South Municipality, Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality, Kwahu West Municipality and Fanteakwa South District.
The inauguration and swearing-in of Members of the Mining Committees of the Twelve Districts in the Eastern Region were held on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at Koforidua, Eastern Regional Capital.
Hon. George Mireku Duker who administered the oath of office laid special emphasis on the responsibility handed over to the committee which is to play an active role in the protection and management of Ghana’s natural resources.
He explained to the members that they are to act as dedicated and firm partners to the district officers of the Minerals Commission in their bid to regulate and control Mining activities in their respective districts.
The Deputy Minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem affirmed his confidence in the members to execute the task handed them by the government.
“There is yet another important statutory imperative in relation to the management of the nation’s mineral resources, that is why we are all assembled here today. We are gathered here to inaugurate the Small Scale Mining Committee as established under section 92 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).
“The Committee, one of the many to be established across mining regions of Ghana, is to assist the District Office of the Minerals Commission to effectively monitor, promote and develop mining operations in their localities.
“It has its work cut out for it. Considering the caliber of its members, however, I’m honored to declare that the Committee will succeed in its duty of ensuring an orderly, effective, efficient, and sustainable small scale/community mining in its area of jurisdiction,” he said.
Hon. George Mireku Duker observed that since the assumption of office, the Akufo-Addo government has taken various steps to promote responsible mining and increase revenue from the sector.
He mentioned the anti-galamsey fight and subsequent introduction of the Community Mining Scheme as a decisive and far-reaching step taken by the government to grow the sector.
He also referenced the acquisition of speedboats and empowering of various regulatory bodies as commendable initiatives by the government.
“That is why the Government of H.E. President Akufo-Addo has decided to confront the menace of illegal mining (galamsey) through various initiatives and policies.
The government, he said, has amended the mining laws to enhance the sanctions regime, launched operation halt II to rid our waterbodies and farmlands of destructive and illicit galamsey activities, among other initiatives and policies.
“On the other hand, the government through the sector Ministry continues to support the regulatory efforts of the Minerals Commission in order to build an efficient, modern and sustainable small scale mining sector, involving both precious and industrial minerals.”
Hon. Mireku Duker implored the committee members to be diligent in their work and disclosed that the Ministry will organize workshops for the various District Mining Committees to enhance their capacity and sensitize them about their core mandate.
On his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Seth Acheampong lamented the negative impact of illegal mining on socio-economic activities in the region.
He, however, hoped that the inauguration of the District Mining Committees and the current Community Mining Scheme will help address these issues.
He urged the committees to be abreast with the scope of their work and coordinate with relevant stakeholders to deal with the illegal mining canker.
Story by:Kwaku Stephen