An operation is underway to crack down on illegal mining (galamsey) on the Black Volta river in the Savannah Region. The exercise, led by the Military, the Regional Security Council and the Minerals Commission, followed a directive by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor.
The Savannah Regional Minister, Saeed Muhazu Jibril, said on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 that the operation to eradicate illegal miners on the Black Volta was ongoing. His comment followed an updated report he received from the 6th Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Savannah Regional Security Council and the Minerals Commission earlier in the day.
The Black Volta takes its source from Burkina Faso and flows north and east for about 200 miles (320 km) and then turns south for 340 miles (550km), forming the border between Ghana and Burkina Faso, and also between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. At Bamboi in the Savannah Region, the Black Volta turns north and east, and approximately 80 miles (130km) farther east and empties into Lake Volta.
Reports that galamsey was taking place on the Black Volta were received with shock by many Ghanaians.
Following the reports, the lands and forestry minister held a press briefing on Friday, July 21, 2023, where he assured the nation that the government will go to every length to flush out the illegal miners from the river and other rivers across the country to protect them from pollution.
The regional minister said areas such as Jama, Jugboi and Bamboi in the Savannah Region have all been cleared of illegal miners.
He gave the assurance that the Ministerial Coordinating Committee on illegal mining is fully determined to halt illegal mining activities along the major rivers and waterbodies, which have been declared ‘Red Zones’ by the government.