The Forestry Commission and the Kyebi Divisional Police Command have launched investigations into an alleged breach of boundary into portions of the Atewa Forest Reserve by illegal miners.
The Forestry Commission said it received information on the illegal activity on Wednesday, February 1, and moved in to assess the level of devastation caused by the miners.
Speaking to Citi News on the development, the Deputy Eastern Regional Forestry Manager, Emmanuel Owusu Nkwantabisa who reiterated the commission’s quest to protect the environment said the illegal miners will be apprehended and brought to book.
“We were alerted at about 12:30 pm of some illegal mining activities that had veered into a portion of the Atewa Forest Reserve at the Segyimase part of the Reserve. So quickly, a team comprising members from our head office led by our executive director together with our regional manager and members of the Kyebi Forest District went to the scene and confirmed that illegal mining activities were happening outside the Forest Reserve but had veered into the Forest Reserve.”
Mr. Nkwantabisa stressed that the relevant authorities in the region swiftly moved in to seize and destroy the equipment used in the activities.
“The Forestry Commission took decisive action to immobilize some of the equipment that was being used in committing the offence.”
He further disclosed that the Commission is harmonizing all efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and is committed to stamping out illegal mining activities in forest reserves.
“The matter has been reported to the Kyebi police and the Forestry Commission and the police are taking vigorous investigations to apprehend whoever must have been involved.
“The Commission is resolved to stamp out these activities, and we are currently putting together our report and in due time, we will come out with a call on the public to assist us in dealing with these infractions.”