The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, for the umpteenth time, indicated his commitment to fighting the phenomenon of illegal small-scale mining, commonly known as galamsey in Ghana.
He said he will do everything within his power to bring the menace to an end in his second term, which ends in January 2025.
Nana Akufo-Addo said this when the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin and other leaders of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House on Friday, April 23, 2021.
He noted that major rivers such as the Birim and Ankobrah have been polluted due to the activities of illegal small-scale miners and as such, he will put in a lot of effort into the fight to ensure that future generations are not deprived of the water, mineral and natural resources currently being threatened by galamsey.
“We’ve seen what has happened to River Birim, Ankobrah and other major water bodies. I’ll put in a lot of efforts in the galamsey fight for Ghanaians to know that I’m serious about the fight so that we can bequeath to the next generation the gold, water and other resources we inherited from our forefathers. I intend to do everything within my power in this second term to bring this galamsey menace to a conclusion in Ghana,” he stated.
Illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ has over the past few years dominated national conversations following a major campaign by Citi FM about the devastating effect of the practice.
In 2017, Nana Akufo-Addo declared that he was prepared to put his presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey.
His declaration was amidst new measures such as the deployment of police and military personnel to arrest illegal miners across the country and the introduction of a community mining programme aimed at regulating small-scale mining in communities in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Recently, there have been complaints that the water bodies that were regaining their natural state at the height of the fight against galamsey are becoming polluted again due to the increasing activities of illegal mining in various parts of the country.
President Akufo-Addo again made public statements on the development, saying that there is the need for an open discussion on the subject.
The government through the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources subsequently held a two-day National Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining that among other things resolved that the government firmly enforce the country’s laws on mining.
As a result of that dialogue, the Lands Minister directed all persons prospecting or carrying out reconnaissance activities in forest reserves to cease within seven days.
The move is said to be among the many to be rolled out as part of efforts to deal with illegal small-scale mining in Ghana.