Illegal mining: 150 drones to be deployed in the fight against menace

Drones, Illegal mining, NABCO, Operation Vanguard
Operation Vanguard: Drones to be used in the fight against illegal mining.

In its bid to monitor illegal mining activities in the country, the Government of Ghana has procured 150 drones to be distributed to relevant districts in the country.
The devices will be operated by about 120 NABCO graduates serving under the Digital Ghana module, who will be sent to the George Grant University of Mines and Technology to be trained on how to fly the drones.

Once that’s done, the Ghana Civil Aviation Company (GCAA) would issue out licenses for them to begin their operations.

Drones, Illegal mining, NABCO, Operation Vanguard

This is according to the Secretary of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue, who indicated that more drones will be brought in addition to the 150 — in order to boost the work of Operation Vanguard.

Going on further, Mr. Bissue stated that ‘GALAMSTOP’, which is a new software, is set to be introduced to enable all the relevant agencies, including the presidency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the owners of mining concessions to monitor the activities of miners.

This is welcome news to the Small Scale Miners Association whose Operations Director, Emmanuel Yirenkyi, had this to say about the drones:
“While we have the technology such as the drone, it comes to supplement what the enforcement agencies and the regulatory agencies are doing”.

In a related development, the Inter-ministerial Committee, in a proposed plan that was presented to the president, has also recommended government to set up a mining court to prosecute illegal miners.

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