Dinguiraye : assessment of the activities of the prefectural directorate of mining and geology

The Dinguiraye prefectoral director of mining and geology has, in an interview held with us, told the results of his directorate for the year 2023.

A moment seized by the Dinguiraye prefectoral director of mining and geology, Amadou Ousmane TOUNKARA, to tell about his taking of office and the state in which he found his department. He also recalled the challenges he wishes to tackle for the year 2024.

Amadou Ousmane Tounkara has been leading the Dinguiraye prefectoral mining and geology directorate for over a year now.  

Challenges after his taking of office

Right from the beginning, the local mining and geology boss recalled that it was a department that lacked almost everything to function properly, and a limited staff he found in place. Explaining a complex situation, the Dinguiraye prefectoral mining and geology director told the measures he took to change the situation. "When I took office on Sep. 17, 2022, the department was barely functioning. We just had two agents as permanent staff. This motivated us to use volontary agents in the Dinguiraye urban commune and in all rural communes. Hence, we employed a cleaner (for our offices), provided electricty through several power sources to avoid work stoppage because of power cuts. The only generator that was used to supply power had disapearred. So, we had to replace it, and this was done", said Amadou Ousmane TOUNKARA.

Impetus for a new dynamic

" We reorganized activities, and trained rural staff in how to share the 10% of royalties granted to every active gold panning zone. We did not forget that priority is given to the basic needs of the directly impacted communities. If I may say so, only a few localities have been able to use well the 10% of mining royalties they received. These include: Kignêrô, Matagania, Banora center, Fèlômoudjouroh, Kôkoun in Nafadji. If a small group happens to misuse these royalties, we will react. It is noteworthy that during 2023, we only operated in Dinguiraye center, Banora, Diatifèrè, and Ghagnakaly.

As a reminder, we worked with the former system until Jan. 2023. After a diagnosis, we reorganized things to function better, as recommended by the supervisory department (the ministry of mining and geology). To date, about 80% of the people deployed are performing well in their jobs", said the head of the Dinguiraye directorate of mining and geology.

The wish

Aware that he cannot do everything alone, the prefectural director of mining seized the opportunity to invite: "Our plea today is that the State supports us with the permanent staff. Already, the officals of the mining and geology department have told us the measures they are taking in this regard, and we remain optimistic", explained Ousmande TOUNKARA, the prefectoral director of mining and geology.

Interdependence of services and environmental restoration

During 2023, several activities aimed at restoring the local plant cover were initiated by the prefectural mining and geology directorate, in accordance with other departments. The boss of mining is delighted with the results, even though he thinks collaboration was not that easy.

"In general, our relations with other departments are not easy, but as every department has its own mission, every department adjusts itself and fufills its mission. It is true that mining activities do harm the environment, but in Dinguiraye, the use of toxic and harmful products is less than it is elsewhere. That is why, in mid 2023, a vast tree planting program in all places where gold panning takes place was initiated. We invite everyone to get involved in the restoration of the plant cover. We need to replant a two-hectare-wide area per sector, district and rural commune to allow the restoration of the environment. We also raised awareness of gold-panners to avoid mining gold near the rivers. In addition, the environment department also reminds mining companies to avoid mining near rivers", he said.

Challenges ahead in 2024

« For this new year, our mission will be focussed on replacing the trees that failed, and reforest old abandonned quarries. We alo intend to improve the image of gold panning which involves a greater number of people, and reduce the number of thefts in the artisanal mines which was on the rise in 2023. Because we have noticed that some people use gold detectors in the mines and disappear when they discover gold crystals without the representatives of the directorate of mining knowing it. We have arranged a plan to combat this unethical behavior. The best plan is to have the mined sand exposed to the sight of evryone, hence the 10% of mining royalties will go to the right beneficiaries. For instance, out of 100 g, 10% are taken and it is the total of several 10% that is shared, based on the distribution key set forth by the joint decree, to the district, commune, the mining and environment directorates, and the prefecture as well", mentioned Amadou Ousmane TOUNKARA, Dinguiraye prefectoral director of mining and geology .

Leave a Reply