The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation-designate, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, has targetted the regulation of excavators as a measure to tackle illegal mining.
Speaking during his vetting, Dr. Afriyie cited the introduction of heavy earth moving equipment to small scale mining in 1989 as the day “Ghana’s environmental problems begun.”
He thus said Ghana must regulate excavators “severely.”
To address the problem, Dr. Afriyie suggested that excavators be accounted for and banned.
“We should have a census of excavators in this country, and we should even consider a temporary ban on them.”
Decommission some of them, sell some of them off and then put a ban on some of them and by attrition get the numbers that we can use for small scale mining,” he added further.
The nominee also said the danger posed by chanfans which are used to wash minerals in water bodies should also be banned.
“We should criminalise the unlicensed manufacture of washing plants because you know that washing plant is going to be used to do galamsey in water bodies.”
In addition, he said the current generation of Ghanaians was not entitled to all the mineral resources thus, the overall act of mining should be regulated.
“We should have a law that based on the available resources we have, perhaps no more than 50 square km should be mined at any point in time just like we regulate frequency moderation in this country.”
He hopes to implement these suggestions, should he take office.
Dr. Afiyie said the threat of illegal mining “will be severely assuaged and this country will be the better for it”.