Government’s Inter-Ministerial Taskforce Against Illegal Mining has been commended for their bold approach in halting the influx of illegal foreign miners into the small-scale mining sector of the country.
Timothy Mwaba Walamba, the High Commissioner of Zambia to Ghana, gave this commendation in Accra during a courtesy call on Aihaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, in Accra.
Ambassador Walamba revealed that he has come under immense pressure from his government to understudy the campaign conducted by the Inter Ministerial Taskforce Against Illegal Mining to enable him to advise his
government on strategies to curtail the influx of illegal Indian miners — which has become a major headache to Zambia.
He announced that a high-profile Zambian government delegation, including officials of the Zambian
Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, will be sent to Ghana to learn at first hand the experiences of the taskforce to assist in handling a similar campaign in Zambia.
The High Commissioner called to discuss possible lessons which the Zambian government could learn from Ghana’s environmental governance to improve sustainable natural resources management in the southern African country.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini re-affirmed Ghana’s commitment to the strong historic tics between the two countries, nurtured during the colonial era, and assured the envoy of Ghana’s readiness to assist Zambia to formulate strategies to effectively halt the indiscriminate plundering and looting of its natural resources.
The Minister attributed the recent influx of illegal foreigner miners into the small-scale mining sector in Ghana partially to poor monitoring of the nation’s borders by immigration officers who are sometimes compromised, and he revealed that the capacities of such frontline state institutions arc being strengthened to stem the influx of foreign miners.
Alhaji Fuscini revealed that some illegal foreign miners took up arms against some communities in the Ashanti Region in a bid to block access to water bodies for their illegal operations, and he encouraged the Zambian government to take a clue from Ghana’s legislative framework to restrict artisanal mining to Zambian nationals.
He indicated that the Ministry is prepared to share its experiences and expertise in combating illegal mining with its Zambian counterparts, and assured the Zambian Ambassador that an elaborate programme, including a tour of some former illegal mining sites, will be arranged for the Zambian Ministry of :Runes and Minerals Development.
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