Galamsey Fight: 28 Excavators Burned, 267 Changfang Machines Destroyed – Defence Minister Praises The Military
Written by Prince Swaggart on 05/12/2021
The Ghana Armed Forces have commenced “Operation Halt 2” to stop illegal gold mining activities along the river bodies and forest reserves in the country.
“Operation Halt 2” is a second phase of the Military action to remove persons and machinery in the mining areas with the aim of restoring the river bodies to its purest form.
The operation, which began on Friday, May 7, 2021, has so far been very successful.
Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul disclosed this at the ‘Meet The Press’ series organized by the Ministry of Information on Tuesday, May 11.
Speaking to the press, the Minister stated that a joint team of the Ghana Army, Ghana Navy and the Ghana Air Force have been deployed to undertake the operation.
He revealed that the Military has since last Friday set fire to twenty-eight (28) excavators and further destroyed 267 changfang machines and five (5) canoes among other mining machinery.
The activity was undertaken along the river bodies specified in the President’s statement such as River Pra and other areas prohibited for mining.
” . . within the specified areas, the Armed Forces destroyed twenty-eight (28) excavators. The last time it was nine (9) but this time 28 excavators were destroyed. It’s clear to me that people are not listening. In fact, they don’t care . . . Two hundred and sixty-seven (267) changfang machines with platforms were destroyed . . . A changfang is a floating vessel or floating platform where they sink some pipes under and scoop the sand and wash the sand in the middle of the river with chemicals. If you have a river where you have over 300 of such machines washing every minute for 24 hours, you could imagine the devastation that this will cause to the people of Ghana.
“So, you could imagine the damage that these people are causing to the kidneys of the young people in the area, innocent young people. How many of them will be able to buy excavator but they’re forced to drink this now orange-looking water because somebody says I must make money. It’s terrible. So, 28 excavators were destroyed, 267 changfang machines with the platforms were destroyed, 18 water-pumping machines were destroyed, 1 milling machine was destroyed, 1 dredging machine was destroyed, 2 industrial pumps – huge industrial pumps – were also destroyed, 10 plastic fuel tanks were destroyed, 5 canoes were destroyed, 1 wooden accommodation building destroyed…”,
the Minister said.
The Minister commended the Military for their commitment to end the illegal mining (galamsey) menace.
“I want to first congratulate the troops to have travelled over a 100 kilometers in the last episodes because they did over 100 km strecth with virtually no roads, very difficult terrain. It’s not easy job. They had to go into difficult muddy waters. They could easily have gotten drowned and NADMO was graciously enough to also assist [us] all of them with these life-saving jackets and they had to tie ropes around their [neck] waist to ensure that nobody could get drowned because you would see a flat plain and you think that it’s normal but, when you step in there, you’re sinking into the mud and anybody could have died. That’s how bad the situation is and I would wonder how many of our young people have died as a result . . . the bad nature that these people have left.