The leadership of the national anti-galamsey task force, Operation Vanguard, has changed with Colonel Michael Amoah-Ayisi taking over from Colonel William Agyapong as Commander.

A handing over parade was held at the operation's headquarters at Obuasi to mark the transfer of responsibility.

The government, in July 31, 2017, commissioned a 400-member police-military contingent to lead the charge to combat illegal mining across three regions most ravaged by illegal mining.

They are Ashanti, Eastern and Western Regions.

General Officer Commanding the Central Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier-General C.B.  Alhassan, oversaw the ceremony.

He charged personnel of the task force to be dedicated and take pride in making history to restore the environment destroyed by galamsey operators.

“All of you who have been sent here must take pride in this job, you have been part of history, history in the war to correct certain things in our country. One day you should be able to say I was part of making this country a better place to live.”

 Colonel William Agyapong, was full of gratitude all stakeholders for Operation Vanguard’s success so far.

“I will use this opportunity to extend gratitude to all stakeholders who made the operations of the task force successful. It has not been easy, but with the collective effort from government to the locals who fed us with information, it's part of this success story.”

Col. William Agyapong bows out of Operation Vanguard

The outgoing Commander of the task force is grateful.

Colonel Amoah-Ayisi who takes over, reinforced earlier hint by his predecessor of deployment of marine police to augment the task force’s work in protecting water bodies.

“Pollution of the water bodies is one major concern of the whole nation, therefore, it is one of the cardinal tasks given to Operation Vanguard, that is to make sure that the illegal miners are cleared from the river bodies and sanitize the water bodies over time.”

“We are now extending our operations onto the water bodies and with this, we have a detachment of navy and marine police. We have started operations in the Western Region and just yesterday we confiscated over seventy floating platforms from the rivers.”

He urged personnel to be focused and disciplined in their line of duty.

“As part of our plans to make sure we live beyond reproach, we are going to re-emphasize the fact that troops must remain focused and operate within the confines of operation vanguard.”

The new commander advised his troops to remain focused.