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GALAMSEY FIGHT: 100 Trained River Wardens Pass Out At Eastern Naval Command (PICS)


One Hundred (100) trained men and women have successfully passed out as river wardens at the Eastern Naval Command in Tema to help boost Government's fight against illegal mining in some river bodies in the country.


The 100 trained personnel are expected to monitor the various river bodies and report on illegal activities polluting the river bodies.


Speaking at the passing out ceremony, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, in-charge-off-mines, George Mireku Duker said "We are here today to add the latest intervention towards the fight against illegal mining, that is the deployment of river wardens. The idea behind the river wardens is to train and deploy men and women to monitor the various river bodies and report on illegal activities polluting the river bodies"


The Deputy Minister explained that whenever Operation Halt II undertakes any operation, since they are not permanently stationed, illegal miners return to the water bodies to perpetuate their criminal activities hence the need for river wardens.


"Hence, we are of the firm believe that, if these river wardens who are going to monitor these activities work as expected, we believe it will go a long way to help protect our water bodies.

The river wardens will be working closely with the Riverine Command of the Navy and Operation Halt II Contingent from time to time"


"The operations of the five (5) speed boats working closely with the river wardens and connected to the newly established situational room at the Minerals Commission is expected to yield the desired results."


Mr. Duker also noted that Government will procure more speed boats, especially the locally manufactured ones in the coming days to support the activities of the river wardens.


He also added that the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry is in the process to procure body cams for the river wardens for purposes of their operations.


"Ladies and Gentlemen, Operation Halt II will continue to support these measures. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is grateful to the Ministry of Defence and the Military High Command for their collaboration in this effort, and indeed, in several other initiatives."

 

He reminded te gathering saying "Hon. Deputy Minister, MPs, MMDCEs, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the fight against illegal mining must be a national concern, and I call on every Ghanaian living everywhere, and particularly communities along the various river bodies, who bear the brunt of these illegalities, to be vigilant, and support the government by reporting those involved in these activities"


"Let me reiterate that the Government of President Akufo-Addo, is not against small scale mining. What we are against, is any form of mining that pays no regard to the environment, that is done contrary to law and the established protocols, that threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of our citizens, and we will not hesitate in cracking the whip on those who engage in such illegalities"


Mr. Duker stressed that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources remains committed to the vision of the President Akufo-Addo, to make Ghana the mining hub of Africa, by promoting a responsible, viable, sustainable and environmentally-sound small scale mining industry anchored on integrity and contributes, meaningfully, to the national economy.


He was optimistic that government will never relent on the effort, adding that with the support all, the Akufo-Addo Administration shall succeed.

 

The Deputy Minister showered praises on the Eastern Naval Command for their dedication and commitment to the training of the River Wardens. 


"May I congratulate the graduands on this occasion of your passing out, this day recognizes your commendable success after a period in the Eastern Naval Command that has tested your intellect and resilience. Well done"


"My hearty felicitation also goes to the family, spouses and friends of the graduands. We thank God that your personal sacrifices and deprivations to see your loved ones through the training programme have all paid off"


Some self-esteemed graduands who distinguishably excelled in the various modules were honoured.


They include; Joseph Cudjoe from Shama, who grabbed both the Overall Best winner and Best in Boat Handling.


Others include; Bronya Kwaku Junior from Amenfi East claiming the Best in Swimming, Gideon Christian Kwame from Nzema East went home with Best in Drill, Benjamin Nana Aggrey who hails from Takoradi was adjudged Best in Leadership and John Cobbinah from Tarkwa had the enviable Best in Physical Training.


"As you are aware, the fight against illegal mining and the protection of our environment is a national priority. Glorious as this day may be, let us keep in mind that, a more wonderful future awaits us if we are able to win the fight against illegal mining and other crimes in society.

For the River Wardens, daunting days lie ahead of you. The temptations of bribery, greed for money and many more are likely to sway off your purpose, but I urge you to put on the armour of patriotism, selflessness and integrity in the discharge of your duties."


The 100 river wardens are the First batch of out of 300 River Wardens who completed a 4-week intensive pre-deployment training course.


They were drawn from districts along the Rivers Ankobra, Bonsa and sections of Pra and Tano.


Below are some pictures:








Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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