In their quest to outwit the anti-galamsey task force (Operation Vanguard) in their operations, illegal miners also called galamsey operators have adopted a dangerous method of acquiring gold illegally. It has emerged that the Chinese galamseyers and their Ghanaian counterparts now bring the black soil (the gold bearing ore) from the galamsey sites into the communities and households to do the processing for gold in their bedrooms. The galamseyers apply chemicals such as cyanide, mercury and others and these chemicals are disposed of right in the immediate environment. Human beings and animals are exposed to these chemicals.
It is believed that when living things come into contact with the chemicals they are exposed to diseases such as silicosis, silico-tuberculosis, pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and asthma.The rest are oral or nasal cavity erosions, diseases owing to ionising radiation, noise-induced hearing loss, as well as repetitive strain injuries. According to Squadron Leader Robinson Omane Agyei, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Operation Vanguard, their quest to flush out these illegal miners from the hinterlands, forest and backyards is yielding fruitful results.He appealed to the general public to assist Operation Vanguard to save the environment from these dangerous chemicals.
“We entreat the public to feed us with information about where these Chinese illegal miners reside for proper monitoring to save our environment,” he appealed.
He mentioned that on Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15, 2018, the anti-galamsey task force arrested 18 illegal miners also called ‘galamsey’ operators along the Ayanfuri-Bibiani road in the Western Region.
The task force, which was led by its commander, Col Michael Amoah Ayisi, carried out the operation from Thursday, June 14 to Friday, June 15, 2018. It involved personnel from Ashanti, Central and Eastern Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) of the task force.