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General News of Thursday, 27 May 2021


Galamsey Fight: Burning excavators not same as fighting menace – gov’t told

Photo of a burning excavator Photo of a burning excavator

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary candidate for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro in the 2020 general elections, Alexander Akuoko says the President Akufo-Addo led government is not fulfilling its promise to fight the galamsey menace.

According to him, instead of the government finding ways of improving our water bodies and restoring lands, it has instead focused all its attention on burning excavators belonging to illegal miners.

“Seizing and burning excavators is way different from fighting galamsey. I recently saw a drone footage of the Prah River and what I saw what heartbreaking. The water was muddy and polluted and instead of using these excavators to dredge and fix our water bodies, we are rather burning them,” he shared.

He argues government is afraid of having seized excavators lost and given back to illegal miners at a fee as it happened in its previous efforts. “But burning excavators is not the way to go. We should find a better way of dealing with the galamsey crisis.”

The politician who is fully in support of the galamsey fight stated, “Now, we can’t even drink directly from the river sources and have to rely on bottled and sachet water. All we want to do now is fight and win the fight against galamsey and not burn excavators.”

Apart from using these excavators to fix the effects of galamsey, he recommended to the government to hand over seized excavators and bulldozers to the various constituencies and districts.

“They can be used to fix roads and dredge gutters in these areas and when they vanish mysteriously, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) will be help accountable.”

Alexander made his position in an interview with Don Kwabena Prah on Happy 98.9 FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show.

On his accord, the stance taken by government to burn equipment of illegal miners must be revised. “There should be an alternative to this fight. I have a problem with this approach and suggest government undertakes a stakeholder analysis and consultation to bring an end to the galamsey menace.”

The government of Ghana organized a two day National Consultative Dialogue On Small Scale Mining to solicit diverse views so as to develop appropriate policy options for the small scale mining sub-sector.

After the dialogue, some 200 military personnel were deployed to areas where mining was causing harm to water bodies and started burning equipment of miners, both licensed and illegal. The directive which was authorized by the Minister of Defence was criticized by a section of the public.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, May 27,2020 however reaffirmed his determination to root out illegal mining and stated that the burning of equipment used for the pollution of water bodies and forest reserves will not cease till the criminal acts are halted, and challenged those who think otherwise to go to the court of law.