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General News of Monday, 3 April 2017


Media coalition against galamsey to be launched Tuesday

The Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL), the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and other media partners will, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, launch the media coalition against illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey.

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Private Newspaper Publishers Association (PRINPAG), the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the News Times Corporation and other media houses are part of the coalition formed to sensitise the public to the galamsey menace and seek support to flush out the illegal miners.

Wake-up call

The campaign is meant to be a wake-up call to the harm being done to water bodies and the vegetation by the illegal miners.

The Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, said the coalition was aware of the task ahead of it but were bent on carrying out the crusade for the good of the present generation and those yet unborn.

He urged the state to throw its weight behind the initiative and particularly appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, to deploy security men to all the illegal mining sites to flush out the illegal miners.

Mr Ashigbey said illegal mining posed a danger to national security, saying it called for action now to avoid a national catastrophe.

Christian Council of Ghana

Even before the launch of the campaign, the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has pledged that its member institutions will use their pulpits to support the campaign.

The General Secretary of the council, Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, lauded the initiative and said the public should see the campaign as a national call to action “to ensure our continued existence on this earth”.

Responsible mining

He said the campaign was definitely not against mining in the country; “what we are calling for is responsible mining and we believe that is what the campaign is all about”.

Referring to the Holy Bible, Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said when Jesus was born, the three wise men who visited him sent, among other things, gold, implying that mining was endorsed by God.

“But when illegal mining threatens our very existence, then it is an issue to be worried about,” he explained.

Not to our detriment

He recalled the number of benefits accruing from mining, saying mining could not be wished away, “but we should not do that to the detriment of our very existence”.

“Now we have been told that we have cyanide, mercury and other metals in our water bodies and food crops which are responsible for all sorts of illnesses, including cancer and kidney problems.

“And that is why we want to identify with the GCGL and the other media houses. We are not a law-enforcement agency, but we are with the moral conscience of our congregation. We want to use our various platforms and groups to intensify the campaign,” he said.

Campaign is for common good

He said the campaign should be seen to be for the common good and called for the political will to deal decisively with the menace.

Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said the campaign should not be seen as a section of the public against another but one that was championed by the state, with full leadership backing.

He called on political parties, politicians, traditional leaders, party financiers, religious bodies and the entire country to join the campaign.