Over 200 drones have been procured by the government to assist its fight against illegal mining across the country.
The machines will be used to take live images in districts where the practice is rampant.
Already, some 150 persons are undergoing training in how to operate them at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The government’s grand plan towards ending illegal mining includes the establishment of district mining committees in mining areas across the country, the deployment of Operation Vanguard, fitting tracking devices in excavators used in mining districts, and the use of drone technology among others.
After the deployment of Operation Vanguard nearly a year ago, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has procured the drones and will soon deploy them.
Speaking to Citi News, secretary to the inter-ministerial task-force on illegal mining, Charles Onuawonto Cromwell Bissue, stated that the drones have arrived.
“The drones have arrived in the country to support the president’s position that we have to do mining responsibly. Each district [in mining areas] will have one and then the regional coordinating councils will have one so they can monitor the district mining committees. There is going to be a monitoring center at the office of the president too”.
Before they are deployed, some security personnel and other persons who will man the devices at the district levels are currently undergoing training at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology.
Dr. Saviour Mantey, who is a senior lecturer and a Drone Pilot and Instructor at the university, explained to Citi News that “we have already trained 17 security personnel, 14 minerals Commission officers, whilst expecting 120 selected graduates from NABCO under the Digital Ghana Module. These graduates will monitor the devices at the district level”.
He added that “We started the program last week. We have the second batch of trainees currently on campus. By the time we are done in the second week of August, we should be able to train 150 persons”.
Mr. Bissue says the government’s commitment at ensuring that people mine responsibly is still on course, and that all other components left to realize the vision will be rolled out in due course.