Government says it is in the process of procuring drones worth $3 million to augment the fight against illegal mining also known as galamsey in the country.
Speaking to Citi News, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu said this is part of a grand strategy to effectively clamp down on illegal miners.
“We are in the process of the acquisition of the drones which is costing almost about 3 million dollars. And we have done some exploration activities in some areas that we’ve earmarked such facilities for them,” Mr. Amewu said.
He added that, the introduction of the drones will help beef up the efforts of Operation Vanguard [a military task-force against illegal mining] in its fight against the menace.
The Lands Minister also assured that, Ghanaian small scale miners whose works have been affected due to government’s war on galamsey, will be allowed back to their sites soon, but in a more regulated manner.
“I’ve had several discussions and engagements with the executives [of the small scale miners]; letting them understand that small scale mining is a preserve of Ghanaians. They would definitely come back and mine under the directive of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and so they should exercise patience. We are putting in measures to ensure that when they come back, they will not come back in the old form,” he added.
Earth moving machines to be tracked
Mr. Amewu made the promise of introducing drones in galamsey prone areas to check such activities some f ive months ago .
He also hinted of a plan to fix tracking device on earth moving equipment in the country.
This according to him, was because about 40 to 60 percent of the earth moving equipment brought into Ghana for construction purposes, are not found on the roads, according to research findings available to him.
“They are in the deep forest excavating into our water bodies. We are going to put tracking devices on them to see how we will identify these people at a particular spot.”