Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (left), followed by Hon Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, Hon George Mireku Duker, and Hon Benito Owusu-Bio Deputy Ministers Designate for Lands and Natural Resources
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor, on Tuesday, 27th April, 2021 called on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology, Prof Richard Kwasi Amankwah during an official visit of the Minister in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality. The Minister was in the Municipality on Tuesday, to engage stakeholders of Large and Small Scale Mining on various measures taken by His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure sustainable small scale mining.
Dr Stephen S. Y. Yirenkyi, Chairman of UMaT Council welcomed the Minister and his entourage and expressed the appreciation of the University to His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his support to the University. Dr Yirenkyi also thanked Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor and his entourage for their visit to the University.
Prof Richard K. Amankwah pledged the support of the University to the Government in the quest for responsible and sustainable small scale mining and said that UMaT has come up with four interventions to support the Government. They include education of pupils in the basic schools on sustainable artisanal small scale mining. This, the Vice Chancellor nick named ‘Catch Them Young’. The target areas are communities rich in mineral resources and this is aimed at training the next generation of small scale miners on responsible and sustainable small scale mining. Prof Amankwah stated that this would need the support of the Ministry of Education.
The Vice Chancellor also said the University has instituted the Sustainable Small Scale Mining Awareness Day to be held on every 2nd June during which the University would bring stakeholders together to review small scale mining activities and find solutions to identified challenges. The third of the interventions is the institution of the Small Scale Mining School which involves engaging small scale miners in their localities to educate them on safe methods and practices that will promote sustainable small scale mining.
Prof Amankwah added that the University has conducted a research which could serve as a guide to clean the water bodies that have been engulfed with wastes from the activities of small scale mining. According to the Vice Chancellor, the technology would make it possible to clear particles from the water bodies within specified time intervals and make the water bodies clean. Again, he thanked the Government and the Mineral Development Fund for various Legacy Projects on the University campus.
Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor stated that UMaT is a key stakeholder in the quest for sustainable and viable small scale mining and the protection of the environment. He emphasized the collaboration between the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on behalf of Government and UMaT and stated that, the generation of ideas required for the sanitization of the mining industry as a whole and the small scale mining industry in particular, must come from UMaT. He therefore, assured the Vice Chancellor that the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources will work together with UMaT with regards to the utilisation of natural resources of the country. He also expressed his support for the four interventions of the University.
Hon Jinapor further stated that, there are two critical areas of concern to his Ministry. These are the protection of the forest reserves and water bodies of the country. He emphasized that the Ministry has directed the Forestry Commission not to issue forest entry permits for the purposes of mining in any forest reserve of the country and prospecting in all forest reserves should cease immediately. The second directive issued by the Ministry is that, there should be no form of mining activity at locations which are less than hundred metres away from river banks and general water bodies. These directives, he said, are meant to protect the forest and water bodies.
The Honourable Minister reiterated that, the security agencies have been empowered to ensure the strict compliance to the directives and that the enforcement of the directives should have no respect for personalities and political affiliation of offenders. He said, the directives are based on a broad based multi sectoral participation involving all political parties and stakeholders. Hon Jinapor called for the support of UMaT to sanitize the mining environment and charged the Minerals Development Fund to expedite actions to complete all Legacy Projects on campus to aid UMaT in its quest for generation and promotion of knowledge.
The Hon Minister and his entourage later inspected on-going Legacy Projects funded by the Minerals Development Fund.
Among the officials who accompanied Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor were Hon Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, Hon George Mireku Duker, and Hon Benito Owusu-Bio Deputy Ministers Designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Samuel Ata Akyea, Chairman of Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Hon Francis Manu-Adabor, Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry, Hon George Kwame Aboagye, Vice Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry, Hon Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpou, Ranking Member for Select Committee on Lands and Forestry, Hon Alhassan Sayibu Suhiyini, Deputy Ranking Member for Select Committee on Lands and Forestry, Mr Martin Ayisi, Ag Chief Executive Officer for Minerals Commission, Mr John Allotey, Chief Executive Officer for the Forestry Commission and Dr Noriss Kweku Hammah, Administrator of Minerals Development Fund. The Municipal Chief Executive of Tarkwa Nsuaemm Municipality, Hon Benjamin Kessie was in attendance.
Among the Vice Chancellor’s team were Assoc Prof Anthony Simons, the Pro Vice Chancellor, Mr Jonathan Sakoe, the Finance Officer, Prof William K. Buah, Dean of Faculty of Mineral Resources Technology, Assoc Prof Grace Ofori-Sarpong, Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies, Assoc Prof Issaka Yakubu, Dean of UMaT School of Railways and Infrastructural Development, Essikado and Mr Francis Nyarko, Deputy Registrar and Head of Human Resources Unit. Others were Heads of Departments and Units.
Prof Richard Kwasi Amankwah(Right), Vice Chancellor and Assoc Prof Anthony Simons, Pro Vice Chancellor
Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor and his entourage inspecting some of the legacy projects
Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor interacting with one of the project contractors
Source: T. B. Eshun
University Relations Office