The Environment Protection Agency (EPA), backed by the Sierra Leone Police, and with directives from the Office of National Security, has embarked on a two-week operation to destroy illegal mining sites, especially large-scale ones, on river banks.
According to Senior Information, Education and Communications Officer at the EPA, Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya, this drive was initiated in 2021 on a Presidential directive, and in that time has destroyed over three hundred dredges. He explained that eighty of that number was in just two weeks.
Mr. Dumbuya continued that intelligence has informed them that these dredges were mostly controlled by foreigners, specifically Ghanaians who are now being tipped off before their arrival on the various sites.
While many of the operations have been in the Kenema and Tonkolili Districts, this week’s will continue in other parts of the country, which this platform has chosen not to reveal for the integrity and success of the operation.
To date, the EPA continues to train swimmers and procure water transportation means (such as jet skis) to improve on their efficiency.
The agency has committed to destroying any mining dredge to protect the beauty and vegetation of the environment.