Government’s Mandates Against Used of Dredges Ignored in Rural Liberia
Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has gathered that local miners in some parts of Liberia rural settings are still using dredges on Liberian waters, against government mandate not to do so.
Willie N. Tokpah,[email protected]
Last year, the Ministry of Mines and Energy banned all dredges being used in Liberian waters by both Liberians and foreign nationals.
“With immediate effect, the use of dredges on all water bodies within our borders for mining of gold and diamond is hereby banned,” Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E. Murray said in a statement issued on October 28, 2019.
Minister Gesler further disclosed that the ministry has commenced a rigorous exercise aimed at fixing and formalizing the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) subsector of Liberia.
He added: “The ministry has developed a roadmap which will require collective efforts of local government, law enforcement authorities and private citizens.”
In spite of this mandate, local Miners operating in Gold rich Gola Konneh district, Grand Cape Mount County and those along the Bensonville to Crusorville area in Montserrado were observed using dredges on the Liberian waters.
This situation has claimed the attention of some locals living within these area, who have expressed disappointment in the Minister refusal to enforce their own mandate.
Gola-Konneh District youth Chairman David Johndon, is one person who believes nothing is done to arrest the situation, the Lofa River running through the county might be badly affected by pollution.
Mr. Johnson complained that dredges are seen on the water on a daily basis with nothing being done by mining agents in the area to stop its usage on their water.
“The constant use of Dredges on the Liberian water is polluting the water and enlarging the weight of the Lofa river in the Western Region of Liberia,” Johnson stressed.
Another person who wants the mandate to disallow dredges usage on the Liberian waters enforce is Francis Railly from the Crusorville area.
Mr. Railly, a residents of the area said the usage of dredge on the waterway dividing Crusorville and Bensonville is responsible for flood in the area.
He said such mining system poses threat to pollution with that part of Liberia.
It can be recalled that since the beginning of 2020 over three persons have lost their lives from the uses of Dregges while mining gold under the Lofa river between Gbarpolu, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
The first daffer left in the Lofa river in early February name Abraham Turley while the second person name Momodu Kanneh died in April of this year and the third person name Sekou Kamara died lately May ending in the same Lofa river why using Dredges.
But Western Liberia Regional Mines Supervisor Alfred Passaway stated that he is not aware of any dredge being used on waters in the Western Liberia.
However, Mr. Passaway maintained that those involved are doing so at their own risk, and if caught, will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of Liberia.
“Miners who are operating in Western Liberia are awarded of the mandate passed by government and if they go about violating and are caught, the necessary actions will be taken,” Passaway stated.
In the same way, Assistant Minister for Mines at the Ministry of Mines and Energy Emmanuel
T.T. Swen said the operations of Dredges is not to his knowledge and the government of Liberia has band the useage of Dredges from operating on all water in Liberia.
Ministry Swen said: “The Ministry is about to enforce her mandate and agents will be assigned to inspect these gold mining areas across the Country with immediate effect.”
Dredging is an activity that is carried out to remove unwanted deposits from water pathways. But even though the activity aids regularity in marine traffic, it is not without its disadvantages, as it poses a huge threat to the marine environment.
Since the main focus of dredging is to remove the deposits submerged under, the environmental effects of the process also revolve around this focal point and has negative effects
The soil deposits in any water-body have a certain pre-disposed composition. Through dredging this composition is altered. Because of the said alteration, the existing habitat of creatures and organisms that depends on the original composition of the soil dies out due to the unfavorable changes caused.
The turbidness of the soil under the water also changes because of this alteration in the underwater soil composition.
This poses problems by the creation of newer and harmful organisms, transferring of unwanted organisms to other parts in the water-body leading to a wider spread of contamination and organic processes by way of release of extra and unwanted nutrients, thereby affecting marine environment adversely.