An unannounced visit by Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kweku Asumah Kyeremeh has revealed that illegal miners have destroyed about 80 hectares out of Furi Forest Reserves’ 15, 823 hectares.
This was after the illegal miners successfully outwitted the lean team of the Forestry Commission at Amiase Nsuta in the Western Region.
Addressing journalists at the depleted portions of the Forest, Mr Asumah Kyeremeh said a new strategy is underway to deal with the menace.
Commenting on the missing excavators which were confiscated by the Operation Vanguard, Mr Kyeremeh debunked rumours that they have been sold.
“To the best of my knowledge, no excavator has been sold and according to law, the equipment seized is not to be sold,” he stated.
He added: “I am yet to receive an inventory of the number of excavators.”
Speaking to Joy News’ Latif Iddrisu, a Senior Forestry Commission Official indicated that battling with armed illegal miners makes their job dangerous since they lack efficient logistics to fight them.
Forestry Commission Director expressed sadness about the turn of events after three years into anti-galamsey fight.
“I declared it Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSB), a shift from production area to protected area. But now the whole thing is gone, it’s so sad it turned out this way” Mr Abu lamented.
The Furi Forest reserve is in the Prestea enclave, for some time has been known for illegal mining activities.