Government has re-emphasised its unwavering commitment to putting mining operations in the hands of indigenous Ghanaians in mining regions for maximum benefit to the host communities.
It is not only providing the opportunities but the requisite training to ensure the objective is achieved.
Speaking at the opening session of a pilot training programme for District Mining Committees (DMCs) and selected small-scale miners, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, said the training aligned with the President’s goal of decentralising efforts to address the gamut of issues in the mining sector.
Fighting negative impact
The training, Mr Duker said, would address the ignorance in the sector and ensure that no player in the small-scale sector would claim they were not aware of the law governing the sector.
He said through formalisation of the sector, “we can mitigate the negative impacts of illegal mining activities which continue to cause havoc and create a sustainable and inclusive industry for the environment and benefit of the people.”
The government, through the ministry, is doing its part to put the mining sector on a sustainable and green path where the productive assets are in the hands of Ghanaians, especially the indigenes.
With the district mining Committees in place, Mr Duker said: “I can say without fear of equivocation that this step of placing the regulation of mining operations in the hands of the local stakeholders will soon become another learning reference for other countries.”
He urged the participants to ensure that the knowledge gained was shared among communities to protect the environment for the survival of the present and future generations as well as bridge the information gap.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said the Regional Coordinating Council would continue to support government’s effort to rid the environment of illegalities.
“The era where people claim ignorance of the law ends with the training and the training is aimed at equiping stakeholders — the committee members and assemblies, hence the need to take the training seriously.
He said due to the illegal and unregulated activities that had impacted the sector negativelypeople viewed mining as demonic.
“With your training, the challenge is up to you to ensure that the message goes round to ensure mining is done safely,” he added.
Some of the participants commended the government for the decision to train and equip the players with the requisite knowledge before the clampdown.