E/R: Cocoa farmers connive with illegal miners for ‘galamsey’ – Kwahu West MCE
The Eastern Regional Security Council has asked various assemblies in the region to come up with innovative ways to clamp down on activities of illegal miners threatening the region’s security.
Illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey has returned to the region in full force with a new twist.
There are reports that about one thousand foreign nationals had connived with cocoa farmers and landowners in the Kwahu West Municipality to mine, thereby destroying hectares of cocoa and oil palm.
According to the Kwahu West Municipal Security Council, these foreigners from neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Niger and other countries are in the municipality and are carrying out their illegal activities unabated.
Addressing members of the Regional Security Council at an emergency meeting with the Kwahu West Municipal Security Council, Yaw Owusu Addo, the Municipal Chief Executive Officer confirmed that illegal mining is ongoing in the municipality.
“These foreigners who we understand are from Niger, Mali, Burkina, Guinea and other countries are scattered in the municipality and carrying out their illegal mining with impunity. They are using simple metal detectors which is able to locate the area endowed with mineral deposits and immediately after that, they engage people to dig the area”.
“They have dug and created holes on several acres of cocoa plantations, citrus and palm plantations destroying them in the process. We have exhausted all measures as MUSEC because not even a single resident in those affected areas had come to report to us and this has made it very difficult for us.”
The Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour who is also the Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw and the chairman of REGSEC in an interview called on members of the various security councils to come forth with innovative ideas to clamp down on the menace.
“This can not be going on in a cocoa growing community, it is totally not accepted and we need all hands on deck to clamp down on their activities and that is why I have brought all the members of REGSEC here to ascertain what exactly is happening here so they can advise appropriately on measures we need to take.”