Two more illegal miners have been reported dead in Talensi, a district in the Upper East Region.
They died on Monday, 16 October 2023, after a layer of earth, loosely hanging overhead, suddenly fell on them around 4:30 a.m. while they were inside a mining pit.
There was another reported plan by some alleged kingpins of illegal mining operations in the area to secretly bury their remains to, as usual, conceal the illegal mining activities taking place in the district.
But a tip-off from some members of the community led to the police command in the district’s capital, Tongo, foiling the plot.
The police retrieved the bodies at Tarkwa, a mining site in the area, and deposited them at the morgue of the Upper East Regional Hospital.
The illegal miners were identified as Mbankaad Pusohinam and Alhassan Ayelim.
Police authorities in the district told Media Without Borders on Wednesday, 18 October 2023, that a post-mortem was conducted on the bodies of the illegal miners on Tuesday and their remains were released to their families after the examination.
This is the first time the police have received such timely tip-off and acted swiftly on it since the beginning of the year.
It comes after Media Without Borders published a report on Sunday, 8 October 2023, about some fifteen illegal miners who reportedly died in the same district and were buried secretly to keep the happenings under wraps.
The October 8 publication featured some residents who said leaders of the illegal-mining gangs in the district told the families of deceased illegal miners to bury the bodies secretly because police would arrest them if it came to their notice that their relations were engaged in illegal mining activities.
The families, according to the residents, believed the information and did as told for fear of arrest.
Following that publication, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) reckoned that the alleged illegal-mining ringleaders were exploiting the ignorance of such families.
The commission met with opinion leaders from the district and remarked that members of the communities owed it to the state to report illegal miners and mining-related deaths to the police.
The NCCE also made it clear that police would not arrest any relations if they divulged such information to the law enforcement agencies.
The tip-off that led to the police retrieving the bodies of the illegal miners involved in the latest misfortune in the district, development watchers say, was inspired by the NCCE’s sensitisation efforts.
Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org