A broadcast journalist with Kumasi-based Angel Fm, is alleging that his colleagues in the inky fraternity are engaging in illegal mining activities when they are supposed to partner state institutions in the ending the menace.
Speaking on his own station, Angel Fm during his show Kwame Tanko claimed to have witnessed some of them engaging in the acts that have been frowned on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for which reason Operation Vanguard was formed but refused to mention names.
According to him, some journalists have acquired large tracks of land under the guise of land reclamation and on the hind side are engaging in illegal mining.
“Personally I have a problem on the whole reclamation exercise ongoing of which I know and have information to that effect that, even some media men have lands under the guise of doing reclamation but at the end of the day that is not what is happening”.
He was however backed by Mr. Yaw Brogya Genfi, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who on the same platform alleged that Operation Vanguard is offering protection to only Chinese miners in the country’s forest reserves.
Background of illegal mining in Ghana
Early in the year 2017, the president revoked licenses of all small-scale miners and further placed a ban on them, stating that their activities were destroying water bodies and other resources.
The ban has however not been lifted till date though government earlier said it placed a six-month ban on the activities.
The step was also a way to reclaim all damaged water bodies and forests around the mining areas.
The government has said it will need millions of cedis to dredge water bodies and reclaim forest reserves as well as lands destroyed as a result of illegal mining activities.
According to reports, illegal mining destroyed almost all water bodies in Ghana making it difficult for the Ghana Water Company to process drinking water for consumers.
In a report, there are fears that Ghana by 2020 will import water from foreign countries if measures are not immediately taken to curtail the extensive pollution caused to water bodies as a result of mining activities.
Research also revealed that activities of these illegal miners have poisoned most crops grown around these areas with metabolic substances dangerous to human found in them.
However Operation Vanguard (OV), a task force which consists officers of Ghana Police Service and the military, formed by the government to fight illegal miners has so far received commendation for their effort after the indicated they were 75% complete with their task.