24 July 2017

Forestry Commission chalks progress with fight against illegal mining in Ashanti Region

Chinese illegal miners and their local collaborators were picked up in the Apamprama Forest

Forestry Commission officials in Ashanti Region are patting themselves on the back for what they claim is victory in the fight against illegal mining.

Acting Regional Manger of Forestry Services Division, Isaac Noble Eshun, is full of praise for stakeholders.

He says perseverance and resilience of personnel, as well as the watchdog roles played by communities, have contributed to the progress.

Mr. Eshun’s assessment follows the recent arrest of four illegal miners in Bekwai District.

They had been mining in the Odaw Forest Reserve.

Forestry officials, early this year, expressed worry at the invasion of reserves by illegal miners.

They mounted Champhi machines, a Chinese-technology, on rivers and streams like Aboabo, Offin and Odaw.

The illegal miners also invaded Apraprama, Supima, Subin Shelter Belt, Desires and Asenayo as well as Tano-Offin and Prako Reserves.

Officials say they have now won the fight against the perpetrators.

Mr. Eshun says just a little over one per cent of forest lands have been destroyed by illegal miners.

“Since galamsey emanated about 5-years ago we’ve guarded against our forest reserves. Whenever anybody makes any attempt to go in, we are able to mobilise our people to either flush them out or arrest them,” he said.

Mr. Eshun, however, indicates that there is no room for complacency as the commission remains relentless in its efforts to protect the forest.



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