A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to establish an “environmental police” unit to be stationed at vantage points to solely fight illegal mining (galamsey).
Abraham Amaliba said like the marine police who patrols the country’s territorial waters on the daily basis, there should be an urgent need to recruit people for the environmental police whose core mandate and duties would be to guard water bodies, lands and forest reserves that are being mined.
Mr. Amaliba, who is legal practitioner, made the call whilst contributing to discussions on galamsey on TV3’s New Day on Monday. The NDC Lawyer was reacting to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s comment that the government’s determination to clamp down on illegal mining activities in the country is not akin to xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals but a national commitment to protect the integrity of the environment.
Mr. Amaliba told New Day host, Bright Nana Amfo that most at times when the taskforce are pursing the perpetrators of galamsey, they run and hide in holes that have been dug and later re-surface when the taskforce are gone but if we have police who are stationed there day and night, the illegal miners will find it difficult to operate.
He added that this will help sustain the fight against galamsey because the current trend where the taskforce move in and either seize their equipment or arrest them will not solve the canker.
The NDC man commended the Minister for Lands and Natural Resource, Peter John Amewu, saying, “the minister has dedicated about 80% of his activities into fighting galamsey, which is good, but the approach should be changed”.