Tepa (Ash),– The Mfante Community Mining Scheme in the Ahafo Ano North Municipality is expected to create jobs for over 2,000 people in the area.

It is expected to stimulate local economic activity, reduce poverty among the people in the area and promote sustainable socio-economic development while protecting the environment.

Mr George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, who stated this, said the government was collaborating with the small-scale mining sector to sanitize the industry to ensure responsible mining in local communities.

The aim is to prevent the pollution of water bodies, forests, soil, and other natural resources while helping to protect the natural forest to achieve a healthy environment for a good future.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at the commissioning of a Community Mining Scheme at Mfante in the Ahafo Ano North Municipality of the Ashanti Region.

The Community Mining Scheme concept is an initiative by the government to create thousands of new jobs in mining communities, while tackling illegal mining that led to the destruction of water bodies and other natural resources.

Unregulated small-scale mining by both local and foreign nationals (galamsey) had caused massive destruction to Ghana’s environment, especially water bodies and forest reserves.

To control the danger, the Akufo-Addo led administration placed a ban on the practice, introduced operation vanguard and other legal regimes to encourage more responsible mining.

Mr Duker said the government cannot continue to look on for the countrymen especially farmers to die of chemicals dumped into the water bodies.

“We cannot continue to look on for our countrymen, especially farmers who drink from the streams to die from chemicals and human waste dumped into the water bodies and environment,” he noted.

The Minister said such harmful behaviours had resulted in kidney and other dreaded diseases hence the need for collective effort to end it.

Mr Duker said the community Mining concept has therefore come to stay, adding that the government can never hate mining but needed a responsible one.

The Deputy Minister described the newly commissioned site as a legal concession and urged operators to work in harmony and environmentally acceptable manner.

He said the community should own the Mines and help them to grow for the betterment of the people, adding that security personnel were not going to interfere in their activities.

Mr, Duker said green mining technology would be adopted and used by the community miners as a way of protecting human lives and a healthy environment.

The ‘Gold Catcher Machine’ would be used by the miners to help recover about 95 per cent of gold from the soil without the use of mercury, adding that the Ministry was going to provide them with a geologist, mining engineer, and a minerals engineer to help the operators do their work well.

Mrs Martina Appiah Nyantakyi, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), described the community Mining project as a key intervention to create wealth for the people while preserving the environment.

She appealed to the traditional leaders to support the mining site, urging the operators to work in the right form to help bring the needed development in the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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