Major General Emmanuel Kotia, the National Coordinator for the Ghana Boundary Commission has raised concerns over the removal of international boundary pillars along the Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire borders, including the teak plantation planted by both countries.
The illegal mining activities in the area were the major cause of these removals, according to him.
To address this issue, the Ghanaian Boundary Commission has collaborated with the Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission, and Geological Survey Authority to investigate and devise a plan of action.
Major General Kotia added that there have been talks with their Ivorian counterparts to jointly inspect and reaffirm the international boundary line and construct boundary pillars.
In May this year, the Ghanaian Boundary Commission and its Ivorian counterpart will meet to discuss the framework of how to undertake the project, which will involve seeking funds as the construction of international boundary pillars will serve both countries.
He disclosed that his outfit has facilitated the construction of a feeder road along the international boundary line to Dollar Power to aid regular inspections of the international boundary line and aid the security agencies and other agencies in their activities.
The Deputy CEO of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Samuel Tika noted that illegal mining activities were affecting the livelihoods of people in the area, and the commission was ready to engage them on how to regularize their activities, emphasizing the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor’s call for responsible mining.
Mr. Sulemana Nyadia, the Forestry Commission’s Deputy CEO, who represented the Deputy Minister responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio stated that the activities of the miners were affecting the Mole National Park, and the agency would take action to address the issue.
The Dollar Power enclave was being actively mined illegally and had attracted a large number of people, including foreigners, to that part of the park. The Ghana Geological Survey Authority was urged to conduct detailed investigations to determine the extent of mineralisation and delineate zones in the areas to be blocked out for community mining.
The Dollar Power Community, located in the northern part of Ghana, also called on the government to provide them with essential security and water supply.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief, Mr. Mahammah Tayiru noted that the community has been in existence for a long time but lost its inhabitants through the invasion of the warlord, Samoro.
Since then, the land was left untended and was later occupied by Ivorian farmers and herdsmen.
The community was rejuvenated in 2013 by Mohammed Seidu, popularly known as Dollar Power, and his team after discovering that Ivorians were illegally mining gold on the land.
The miners would move from Tagadi, a town in Cote D’Ivoire, and mine on the lands of Sindi before returning to reside at Tagadi. Dollar Power and his team stopped the rebels at Cote D’Ivoire from coming to mine on the land, though it was not an easy feat since they made a fortune from it. Ultimately, they succeeded in driving the rebels out of the land.
He disclosed that as a result of their efforts, the illegal miners now refer to the area as Dollar Power Community. However, the community faces significant security challenges, as they have no security presence from the government despite being at the boundary line.
He made a rallying cry that the community is appealing to the government to provide police posts, immigration, military, and other relevant security presence to protect them from the invasion of armed groups.
He highlighted water as also a significant challenge in the community, with the only source being a dugout borehole by Chairman Mohammed Dollar Power.
However, he was quick to add that it was destroyed and vandalized by Ivorian soldiers stationed at the border.
On behalf of the Chief, he indicated that the community has been forced to seek water from their counterparts in Cote D’Ivoire, sometimes with little success due to misunderstandings.
Mr. Tayiru in his remarks appealed on behalf of the community, urging the government to enroll them in the government flagship programs, including the community mining scheme, to curb the galamsey menace and improve their living conditions as law-abiding citizens.
He emphasized that they are Ghanaians and deserve fundamental rights such as security and access to clean water.