The Municipal Chief Executive for Prestea Huni-Valley in the Western Region, Dr. Isaac Dasmani, has called for permanent establishment of the Rapid Response Taskforce and the government’s anti-illegal mining taskforce, Operation Halt Galamsey in the municipality.
The MCE said the Municipality is so large that the ad hoc nature of the Rapid Response Taskforce and the government’s anti-illegal mining taskforce is not helping and its permanency would be paramount in the area.
Dr. Dasmani made the call in an interview with 3FM’s Sunrise on Friday, November 26.
The MCE was speaking on the update of the ten people who lost their lives after a galamsey pit collapsed on them on Wednesday, November 24 at Wassa Esikuma.
“We removed all those trapped yesterday. They were fourteen in total and ten died. The four are still receiving treatment.”
He explained that “it caved in on them and so doctors are taking X-ray and they are responding to the treatment”.
Dr. Dasmani said “some people were safe so they released the information that they were fourteen trapped”.
“We can clarify them as illegal miners because they were working on someone’s concessions. The owners cannot cover all the concessions so they hide and are working”.
The MCE said “it was rock mining. They were just digging the rocks without taking into consideration safety measures”.
“The dynamics are different when you come here. Some of them are using excavators and you can see them but when it comes to rock mining you cannot see them so we have formed a security task taskforce where we are doing the campaigns. Moving from one community to the other but some of them in the night will hide themselves and do galamsey”.
Dr. Dasmani noted that “the Operation Halt Galamsey come in and go. They are not stationed here. The municipality is big and as such we need more men to fight it”.
The MCE assured that he would convene a meeting to address the issue.
“I will quickly call for MUSEC meeting to draw a roadmap to tackle the issue so that it will not happen again.”
The Prestea Huni Valley NADMO Director, Francis Abeiku Nyanka, also assured they will seal the pit but feared they would go back.
“We will fill the pits but they will go back within a month or two so the solution is for the MCE and the regional council to release the site for community mining or small scale mining, then we can give them the safety measure.”