According to data from Ghana’s Forestry Commission, illicit mining, or galamsey as it is known locally, poses a threat to 34 of the nation’s forest reserves.
At a press conference on the condition of Ghana’s forest reserves held at the Ministry of Information, the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, John M. Allotey, announced this.
According to him, unlawful mining operations are rapidly reducing the total forest cover that was designated in order to be used as reserves and wildlife habitats.
“Seven out of the sixteen regions have been experiencing some form of illegal mining. Out of this, thirty-four reserves have been affected. These are areas where you have significant illegal mining. The total area that has been mapped is about 4, 722 hectares of forest lands have been impacted. But then this is only the surface. Some of these impact results in very deep holes and they excavate a lot of materials that will also impact on the forest,” he said.
According to John Allotey’s submission, the threat has had a significant influence on forest areas like Tano Nimiri, Bonsa River, and Apamprama Forest Reserves in the Western North, Western, and Ashanti Regions.
Additionally, he said that while the Commission does its best to remove illegal miners from some of the forest reserves, there are some areas where mining is taking place with hired armed guards who end up fighting them back.
In the Bekwai forest district, he continued, “We have three forest reserves that have been designated as the most difficult areas. These places have active illegal mining happening there, they have hired security, and they.
Samuel Abu Jinapor, the minister of lands and natural resources, stated that the government is steadfast in its fight against the threat of illegal mining in the nation.
The list of some forest areas affected by galamsey activity is shown below;
Asankregua Forest Region
(Tonton, Fure River, Totua)
Bekwai Forest Region
(Oda River, Denyau, Bomsontwe Range, Apamprama, Subin Shelterbelt, Supuma)
(Ahwianso East, Upper Wassaw, Afao Hills)
(Tano Anwhia, Tano Nimire)
Mankranso Forest Region
Nkawie Forest Region
(Jimira, Tano Offin South, Offin Shelterbelt, Asenanyo)
Tarkwa Forest Region
(Nueng South, Bonsa River)