Former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini says it is rather shocking that the District Chief Executive in the River Offin area is still at post despite the proliferation of illegal mining activities in the area.
According to him, in 2014 during the erstwhile administration of John Mahama, the then-DCE for the area was fired after five chang fangs were discovered on the Offin River being used for illegal mining activities.
However, after 838 chang fangs were discovered operating on the Offin River by Operation Halt, the ruling government has failed to remove the DCE from post for dereliction of duty.
He indicated that the failure of the DCE to prevent and protect the water body within his district was enough reason for his dismissal as his actions and inactions have greatly undermined the fight against galamsey.
Speaking on PM Express he said, “When we visited Kyekyerewere, you know there was a collapse of a mine pit at kyekyerewere which killed 9 people. I went there in the company of Gbevlo Lartey, the Police Commander for Dunkwa, the BNI Commander for Dunkwa, and the District Chief Executive.
“So after we had seen the mining pit, the dugout, I decided to go and see the River Offin and see its state because that dugout was close to the river. When I saw five [Chang fangs] and I turned and asked the District Chief Executive, ‘why do we have these contraptions on River Offin? Don’t you know that there is no law that permits mining on a water body?
“’Even if they’re put there legally, there is no law that permits mining on a water body. You can only put an equipment on a water body if you’re dredging that water body.’ He couldn’t answer. And I thought that was a dereliction of duty.
“That was why I was quite surprised that recently 838 Chang fangs were found on River Offin and the District Chief Executive is still sitting in office. That makes me feel bad.”
Inusah Fuseini has called for a multi-stakeholder engagement on galamsey to deal with the menace, and has also called for the equal application of the anti-galamsey laws to avoid discrimination.
“When you’re applying the law to fight galamsey you must apply it with blinded eyes. You must engage stakeholders, so there must be a multi stakeholder approach,” he said.