Operation Vanguard was launched on July 1, 2017 to curb the rampant illegal mining activities commonly known as Galamsey in Ghana. The President of Ghana, Akufo-Addo, implemented this policy with the view of formalising the small-scale mining sector in Ghana to “achieve sustainable mining with sound environmental practices.” This exercise was the biggest anti-galamsey campaign ever to be launched in the country with the view of protecting our environment and natural resources for current and generations unborn.
Operation Vanguard has also caused legally registered Ghanaian small-scale miners to halt operations despite availability of their genuine documents issued by Minerals Commission with endorsement from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. These miners have raised many concerns but Operation Vanguard is a friend of none – we all have to stop small-scale mining irrespective of legalities.
Dunkwa-on-Offin is one of the most prominent small-scale mining towns in Ghana due to its location on the Birimian and Tarkwaian gold deposits in Ghana. Despite the indigenes obeying the wake up calls to stop illegal mining, Epistlesofboadu.com discovered Chinese immigrants are busily working at Nkwanta during our envrionmental sustainability checks. Nkwanta is a village located about 5km from Dunkwa-on-Offin. These miners are not just threat to the environment but are working just about 150m away from the Nkwanta Basic School. This does not just affect teaching and learning, it just boldly explains how ‘Operation Vanguard’ is loosing its purpose. The illegal miners use ash Toyota Hilux with registration number GN-2174-11.
A peasant farmer who shares boundary with these miners explained how the Chinese miners have been trespassing on her land despite the boundary. She explained bitterly that these Chinese would have destroyed her plantain farm has she not reported to farm today.
To make Operation Vanguard successful, the President must put the chiefs to action. These are people who must report all forms of illegal mining to Environmental Protection Agency and to law enforcement agencies. Some location of Chinese miners would be hard to be detected by soldiers of the Operation Vanguard. These soldiers are mostly new to some of their assigned regions.
The question still remains, when is the government going to allow the legally registered small-scale miners work under strict supervision? The law abiding citizens are hungry and the illegal Chinese immigrants are filling their bellies at the expense of the environment.