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General News of Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Source: AccraFM.com

Galamsey will not stop because of poverty, greed – Group

The illicit mining menace in Ghana, popularly called galamsey, will not end soon because of widespread poverty among Ghanaians in mining communities as well greedy persons in authority, Peter Bismark Kwofie, Executive Director of the Institute for Liberty & Policy Innovation (ILAPI-Ghana), has said.

He alleged that some persons within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minerals Commission, the Water Resources Commission, and those within the security agencies are undermining the work of government in the fight against galamsey due to the benefits that accrue to them from illegal mining.

A statement he issued on Tuesday April 18 said: “Once there is poverty and greed, galamsey will never end... The EPA, Minerals Commission as well as the Water Resources Commission and the security are those working against Ghanaians.”

He further stated that laws alone cannot deal with the menace at hand and asked that there should be greater commitment to fight the scourge. “There are four main thematic areas laws cannot solve: poverty, greed, attitude and tradition,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Tuesday April 18, said the government had started winning the fight against galamsey.

According to him, “about 170 excavators being used by the illegal miners have all been removed from the areas by their owners”, adding: “That is good news. We will appeal to those who are yet to remove theirs to do so.

“This fight is a fight against those who are unlicensed to mine and, therefore, are not adopting the best practices in mining.”

He added that a five-year project dubbed “Multilateral Mining Integrated Project” has been introduced to train these illegal miners and to help them locate places where the minerals are located where they can do their mining under strict supervision.