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28 July 2016

In-house mining banned at Konongo-Odumase

in-houseThe Konongo-Odumase Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) has banned in-house mining activities in the municipality forthwith.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Asante Akim Central Municipality, Alhaji Braimah Boyong, made this known at Konongo last Monday.

He said the decision to ban the act, was as a result of many complaints the municipal assembly had received from residents, opinion leaders and other stakeholders, both in Odumase and Konongo, regarding the negative impact the activities of the miners are having on homes and the environment.

The MCE made the announcement at a meeting of the MUSEC which was attended by other stakeholders from the twin towns of Konongo and Odumase, including homeowners, chiefs, assembly members and a cross section of miners.

In-house mining is the activity of digging mining pits in homes and their immediate surroundings in search of gold.

Background

In August, last year the police in Odumase arrested and sent to court a number of people who were alleged to have been engaged in in-house mining at Odumase.

The arrests followed the identification of more than 70 in-house mining pits, one of which was found in front of the Odumase Pentecost Church.

Many of the pits are located in homes in Odumase and are in the full glare of residents in spite of the inherent danger they pose to them.

One house in Odumase belonging to an indigene, Nana Ayaase, who is based in the United States of America, had the most pits. In that house alone there are five in-house mining pits.

Resignation

After those implicated in the activity last year were prosecuted, the activity died down only to bounce back a few months later.

The miners have changed their mode of operation of late, and are using dynamite in blasting rocks which shake buildings in the community anytime that it is done.

In the miners’ effort to hide the pits, they cover them with wire mesh in a disguise that makes them difficult to detect.

The MCE announced that to ensure compliance with the ban, MUSEC had instructed the Electricity Company of Ghana to disconnect all houses in the Odumase area involved in in-house mining from the national grid.

Alhaji Boyong said people who had interest in the illegal mining should not attempt pleading on behalf of any culprit.

A spokesperson for the Odumase Traditional Authority, Nana Ohemeng Awere, who is also the Manwerehene of Odumase, pledged the support of the traditional authorities over the ban on in-house mining considering the danger it posed to the people in the area.

He said the time had come for all stakeholders in the municipality to come together and find a lasting solution to the problem.

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