The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will on April 14, hold a national consultative forum to address the challenge of illegal mining and prefer solutions to the menace.

The National Consultative Forum according to the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, will be moderated under the leadership of deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister Benito Owusu Bio.

Ghana has over the years initiated several policies and laws to tackle illegal mining also known as galamsey and in the recent state of the nation address, President Akufo-Addo charged asked for a national discourse on the menace.

The loss of lives, water pollution and land degradation are among many adverse effects caused by galamsey.

Speaking at a durbar with workers of the Mineral Commission on Wednesday morning, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor indicated that the forum will foster the collation of views across the country on enhancing small scale mining and end the reign of galamsey.

“My view, and it is the view of the government that as much as possible we should decentralise the regulation of mining in Ghana/ We have to,” he stated.

He further stated that the government as one of many ways to discourage illegal mining seeks to decentralize the regulations of mining in the country to assist licensing of mining firms in their respective localities.

In his view, asking Ghanaians to comply with the mining laws and at the same time restricting their access to the licenses forces them to mine illegally.

“If you say everybody should mine within the ambit of the law and that mining should be regulated and yet, for one to be said to be mining lawfully, the person requires a license and to be able to acquire a license… will have to leave his or her village to travel all the way to Damongo, Tamale and travel all the way to Accra.

“He will have to find his way to the office of Minerals Commission to go through the processes at ten different places before he acquires a license. That already is an incentive for him to engage in illegal mining.

“Because it becomes almost practically impossible for one to be able to acquire a license in the circumstances I have just enumerated. So we have to pay attention to decentralization,” he said.

He added that he has “mentioned this to the acting CEO that the Minerals Commission itself should find a strategy of decentralizing its services and operations so that people can acquire licenses, people can acquire permits wherever they are”.

The Lands Minister in addition said the provision of a well-equipped security taskforce in enforcing the laws is imperative in checking illegal mining. He, therefore, entreated all Regional and District Security Councils to discharge their mandate as prescribed in the constitution.

“It is a fact that the security component of mining in Ghana just as it is for every other endeavor or industry in our country is vested in the national security apparatus. When it comes to the enforcement of the laws, regulations of the mining sector, it is the mandate of the security architecture as established by the laws of our country. Regional Security Councils are to be called upon to discharge this mandate,” he concluded,