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General News of Monday, 5 September 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

OccupyGhana to wage war on ‘galamsey’

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, has announced it will soon wage war against illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ operators in the country.

It is believed that such activities are backed by powerful people in society who buy the products from such expeditions. An inter-ministerial task-force established by government to fight the menace, has also failed to achieve its aim.

But speaking on The Big Issue, leading member of Occupy Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford, said he and his team are ready to pursue the matter.

“I am determined together with my team at Occupy; we are going to do something about this. We will enter this galamsey arena and we are going to shake the tree and let those who are culpable and those who are responsible to fall off the tree,” he said.

Three water treatment plants in parts of the country have been earmarked for shutdown because the sources the plants harvest water from have been polluted by illegal mining activities.

Some lands and farms have also been rendered useless due to chemicals used by the illegal miners in extracting gold.

“We don’t have any shame in looking at how bad and how we have allowed pollution to drift all in the name of trying to acquire some gold dust. What we have to ask ourselves is where are we going with this galamsey thing? For how long is it going to be allowed to continue to a point where the river bodies will become so polluted that at the end of the day; we will have to now start looking at how we can move people away from those territories in order for it to regrow,” Casely-Hayford questioned.

Mr. Sydney Casely-Hayford, has chastised successive governments for failing to deal effectively with illegal mining in the country.

According to him, unless a clear strategy is created to deal with ‘galamsey’ as it is locally known, by the two leading contenders in this year’s election, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), neither party deserves to be in power.

Anglogold Ashanti sues government AngloGold has dragged the government to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes because of government’s perceived inability to enforce law and order at the Obuasi mine which has been encroached by illegal miners.

The mining conglomerate has argued that the encroachment of its Obuasi mine by galamsey operators, is impacting negatively on its operations.

Senior Vice President in charge of Investor Relations and Group Communications at AngloGold Ashanti, Stewart Bailey, told Citi News the company had no choice but to drag Ghana to the centre.