Government ready to deploy 150 drones to mining communities

The government of Ghana has procured some 150 drones to be used in monitoring illegal mining activities in the country. According to secretary of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue who was speaking on 3FM’S Sunrise morning show on Friday, the drones would soon be deployed to district assemblies to monitor the activities of illegal mining. Charles Bissue said the arrival of the drones would be a major boost to the work of operation vanguard. “We have about 150 now, there is more on its way coming, and as I speak, about 20 of the operation vanguard personnel have been trained at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology. This week, the Minerals Commission also sent personnel there to be trained.” He added that government is also set to send some 120 NABCO graduates under the Digital Ghana model to the George Grant University of Mines and Technology to be trained on how to fly the drones, after which the Ghana Civil Aviation Company would issue licenses to them to begin full operation. Mr. Bissue further stated that a new software, ‘GALAMSTOP’ is set to be introduced to enable all agencies, including the presidency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the owners of concessions to monitor the activities of miners. [caption id="attachment_47474" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Galamsey is threatening the country’s water bodies and the environment[/caption] “We are going to lift the corporate veil. If I say the corporate veil, it means if any illegality is being performed, it can be seen on GALAMSTOP. It has a tracking device for monitoring all activities.” The Inter-ministerial Committee on illegal mining is also recommending the setting of mining courts to prosecute illegal miners. The Secretary of the Committee said the recommendation is contained in a proposed plan for lifting the ban that was presented to the president. Meanwhile, the Operations Director of Small Scale Miners Association, Emmanuel Yirenkyi, have welcomed the concept for using drones. “While we have the technology such as the drone, it comes to supplement what the enforcement agencies and the regulatory agencies are doing. We have been told that very soon the road map towards the lifting of the ban would be lifted and that is what we are waiting for.”

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By Richard Bright Addo|| Ghana ]]>