The Ministry is also integrating licensed small-scale miners into these efforts to rid the sector of illegal mining activities.

A deputy Minister for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, assured that, this venture will be sustainable.

“It is not something we are doing as a nine-day wonder. It is not an event. It is something that we are going to permanently have,” Mr. Duker said.

On the concerns of possible corruption from the guards, he warned that “this doesn’t give room for people to go out there and extort.”

The leadership of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners shared similar concerns and warned against extortion by members of the task force.

“We will make sure that all the necessary logistics, human resources and things that they need are supplied to them, but we should be very careful not to extort anything from anybody,” Razak Alhassan, the Communications Director of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, said.

He also said there will be a monitoring team which “will always monitor their activities and make sure they visit the various sites.”

They were speaking at the inauguration of an Anti-Galamsey taskforce by the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners in Kumasi.

This is on the back of the deployment of the military taskforce dubbed ‘Operation Halt’, to clear out all mining activities within water bodies and the forest zones in the country.

Currently, the operation, which is in its fourth phase has seen 401 military officers deployed to focus on illegal mining activities on River Ankobra in the Western Region.