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Western Region Minister Kwabena Othere Darko Mensah has cautioned newly oriented river wardens to be weary of the many impediments that will be thrown their way by illegal small scale miners in their bid to stop them from engaging in their illegality.

According to the regional minister, the river wardens must be fully prepared to fight the illegal miners and win.

“I want to tell you that the work is a very big job that we are entrusting to you. The galamseyers will fight anybody. They fight the police, the fought the soldiers. And like they are fighting me the regional minister and the deputy minister of lands and natura resources, they will fight you. But you have to make sure that you can fight back and win. If you know you cannot fight back and win then there is no point going to waste everybody’s time on the rivers,” he advised.

Mr. Otchere Darko was speaking at an orientation ceremony for the first batch of the newly recruited river wardens in Takoradi in the Western region.

READ ALSO: Fighting illegal mining: 87 river wardens oriented in Takoradi

He lamented that “the military were asked to come and do it, the police were asked to come and do it. The navy are on the river, yet we are still having difficulties containing the menace. The regional security council has been involved, the municipal security council has been involved, the district security council has been involved yet we have not found a solution to the menace.”

He therefore described the river wardens as “our last hope, and so if you have been recruited, have been trained and you don’t do your work, it means we cannot continue to allow you put on this uniform.”

The regional minister encouraged the river wardens that “we have done it before, myself and the district team at Ellembelle. When we decided to fight on the Amanzuri river, there were issues but we were able to succeed. As we speak now the river is clean”.

He noted that “So now that you are going to be put on the Ankobra and Bonsa, I do believe you can also fight and win. So please don’t disappoint us. It is when you are successful that the minerals commission and the ministry will have the verve to ask for money to train additional 200 people to come and continue on the pra and the others. And the only way you can justify that is for us to see that the rivers are clean. That is the only measure we all here will use. On the part of government, we will give you all the necessary support to ensure that you succeed.”

By Eric Yaw Adjei|ConnectFM|