LET'S SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST GALAMSEY - EDITORIAL BY MICHAEL OFOSU-AFRIYIE, KUMASI
Published: 23 May 2017
Last Updated: 23 May 2017
23 May 2017
When the last tree die that last man dies---- adage.
Ghana has since colonial days opened up its shores to multinational companies and institutions to either partner it to mine its gold or sell some of its concessions for it to be mined.
We have seen companies such as Anglo-gold Ashanti, Persius and many others conduct their operations in line with laid down regulations by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources through the Minerals Commission.
Scarcely would you hear these aforementioned companies go contrary to the regulations governing their operations.
Though, we recall the few times some of these multi-national companies found themselves going beyond their concessions or mining areas the Minerals Commission have handed to them hefty sums as fines and also bonded them to extend social responsibility projects to the communities affected by their action or inaction.
However, the gradual introduction of small scale mining into the system has brought in its wake all sorts of complications and devastation to the country's environment.
Watching a video documentary on the activities of some small scale miners in Ashanti region recently when the Lands and Natural Resources minister visited Kumasi, strikingly brought home the need for a halt in the activity.
We watched with clinched fists and grim faces the brazen destructive activities of some of these firms including some galamsey operators. The weird modus operandi of digging so deep in water bodies for gold brought tears to the eyes of many including the youth organisers of the ruling NPP and opposition NDC members who were gathered at the hall of Georgia Hotel.
And for once, the effects of galamsey and small scale mining struck the faces of both the young and the old.
No wonder, in unison, the audience after watching the documentary agreed for the total ban of particularly galamsey which seeks to destroy both arable lands and water bodies.
We at GO, therefore, support the efforts by the president and the NPP government to take a closer look at mining in the country as it seeks to tighten regulations and streamline the activities of small scale mining in the country.
We, however, will not negotiate on anything except a total ban on galamsey because there is nothing so destructive than someone digging to pollute our water bodies!
Michael Ofosu-Afriyie, Kumasi