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Government has hinted of an increase in the community mining programme by the end of June in a bid to phase out the sprawling spate of illegal mining that has been devastating lands and water bodies.
Deputy Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio made the pronouncement while speaking in an exclusive interview on Akoma FM‘s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma.
He explained that “community mining has since its inception absorbed millions of artisans across the country so the Ministry has decided to escalate the number of community mining sites from 20 to 200 by end of June 2021”. He told host of the show Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin on Thursday, May 13 that he is confident that with the addition of 180 sites to the already existing community mining sites, jobs will be created as sustainable mining is ensured.
It will also generate revenue for the various host communities, he added. The community mining initiative, which was launched in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term, forms part of the government’s response to tackling ‘galamsey’, with the aim of creating thousands of new jobs in host communities lawfully, under the purview of the Minerals Commission and exclusively for Ghanaians.
Over 5,000 registrants trained at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa. Out of the number, 2,000 have already received their licenses and are beneficiaries of the first 20 community mining sites commissioned last year ahead of the elections.
Mr Owusu Bio assured that the rest of the registrants will be streamlined and licensed to scale up the community mining programme (CMP). “So far the programme is dotted across only 3 regions but with the new inclusion, all the 16 regions will be explored and mining sites to be Instituted.”