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General News of Sunday, 2 April 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Integrate traditional leaders in galamsey fight – Think tank

An environment sustainability Policy think tank, Green Growth Solutions, has called on chiefs and traditional leaders to help in the fight against illegal mining also known as galamsey in the country.

According to the think tank, the fight could get a notch higher if the traditional authorities play their respective roles.

“We have to look at how our lands are given out by chiefs and traditional leaders; they really need to come on board to understand the menace of illegal mining and its impact on us.

There is the need for awareness creation on the impact especially the chemicals that are used, the water bodies that are polluted and the lands that are degraded and will take several years before they can be productive,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Green Growth Solutions, Dr. Eric Twum said in a Citi News interview.

This comes on the back of several calls by citizens, civil society Organizations and key government agencies for a lasting solution to the menace which continue to cause havoc to water bodies and the environment as a whole.

Speaking on the involvement of foreigners in the illegality, Dr. Twum proposed a more diplomatic negotiation.

“There have to be proper diplomatic channel and discussion with these countries on permitting systems that we have in this country, and how a citizen can even have access to work permit.”

The CEO also called on the government to provide alternative sources of employment and livelihood for the youth to prevent them from relying on galamsey for a living.

“Let’s look at how and why our young men get involved in this, it’s simply because they don’t have any alternative livelihood and the general tendency is to survive as a human being. So we need to provide alternative livelihood” He added that “The village fund budget can be used to ensure equitable distribution of the wealth of the country. it will bring about inclusive growth and reduce the tendency of neglect in the distribution of the nation’s resources.

Effects of galamsey

Currently, some water treatment plants have been shut down over activities of illegal miners, which have rendered water bodies from which the plants harvest water for processing useless.

Watchers of the sector have lamented that if such activities are not stopped, Ghana may soon be importing water from neighboring countries.

The galamsey menace has also led to the destruction of many farmlands, which serve as livelihood for a number of families.