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General News of Thursday, 20 April 2017


Galamseyers vacate sites but residents want areas to be reclaimed

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Chinese nationals operating illegal mining, also known as “galamsey,” in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region, are divided over whether they should leave the mining sites and return to their country or stay, Today can report.

While the pessimists believe that all is over for them looking at the seriousness the new government has attached to the issue, the optimists are hopeful that just as it happened during the last National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) administration where in less than two years after “Operation Halt Galamsey II,” was launched, the multitudes returned to sites.

When Today visited some sites in the Amenfi West District during the Easter break, it was clear that the Chinese had evacuated all their earth-moving machines from sites, and had subsequently parked them close to the office of the District Commander of Police at Asankrangwa, the district capital.

A Chinese national, Xin Hui, believed to be the kingpin of galamsey activities in the area, told Today in an interview that he would not leave the town.

His reason was that he also deals in spare parts of excavators.

He hinted that if after six months and there was no sign of galamsey returning, he would sell his spare parts at cheap prices and leave Ghana.

Xin Hui was not happy that things have turned this way.

He explained that most of the sites owners he operates for owe him and his colleagues so much and were not willing to pay them.

He was however, thankful to the communities he operated for their support in diverse ways.

He disclosed that some of his colleagues had already sent their machines to Kumasi and Accra for sale as they intend to go back to China.

Meanwhile, some community leaders who spoke to Today registered their resentment on why government did not first ask the Chinese to pay for the destruction they have caused to their lands and water bodies.

Although they lauded the action by the government and the other civil society groups to eliminate galamsey they believed the galamseyers must not be left unpunished.

Odikro of Mpokuase, Mike Owusu, also appealed to government to do something about it.

“So who is going to cover all the mess they have created? This is very dangerous and should not be countenanced,” he opined.

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