Google search engine

An Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) set up by the Akufo-Addo-led government in 2017 in the fight against illegal small-scale mining’s report has been intercepted by

The Committee was dissolved immediately after the 2020 elections.

Its chairman, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, was not happy with the dissolution and accused some big wigs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for deliberately working against the Committee.

He cites the abandonment of the Committee by all ministers except those at Water and Sanitation and Local Government and Rural Development.

READ ALSO: Be fair to Fulanis just as you are to other tribes – Fulani community charges journalists

He, however, also pinpoints some factors that worked against the Committee.

“It is extremely important to note that the IMCIM’s activities centered on Small Scale and Artisanal Gold Mining. This task was performed to near perfection.

“At the time of the inauguration of the Committee the problem of mining in forest reserves and its attendant destruction of forests, cocoa farms, water bodies, farm lands as well as harassment of villagers in bordering communities by armed mining guards, including soldiers were not on the radar screen.

“As will be mentioned later in this write-up, the major challenges that we had in the mining communities occurred in 2018 when the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands itself decided to give out almost all the forest reserves in this country for mining activities.

“This was reported to Cabinet at its meeting on 28th February, 2019 (see Cabinet letter on page 4).

“Despite the fact that Cabinet directed the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources ‘to suspend the issuance of all new licences/permits by the Forestry Commission’. . .and also to ‘suspend the licences already issued for operation in forty-seven (47) forest reserves’, the directives were ignored and the destruction continued.

READ ALSO: FDA cautions public about unregistered weight loss diet on the market

“Worse still, soldiers had officially been withdrawn from mining sites but in many areas regular Ghana Army personnel were seen providing security at illegal mining sites.

“What saddened me most was when Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko called to defend a company that was actively destroying the environment, especially the forests and River Offin in the Apaprama and Kobro Forests.”