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General News of Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Alternative livelihood program for sacked illegal miners still missing – Budu Koomson

Capt. Ebenezer Budu Koomson (rtd) says although the show of force by the Operation Vanguard taskforce is succeeding in sacking illegal miners, plans to assist the miners to get alternative sources of livelihood appears to have been shelved.

Speaking on PM Express on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, Tuesday, the retired army captain said although the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration had promised to tackle illegal mining holistically – to include finding alternative sources of livelihood and reclamation of land – that is not happening.

“We were told that [government will be first document [illegal miners], second retrain them [illegal miners], and given other livelihood alternatives – other jobs to do, farming, animal rearing, and all sorts of things that second phase I haven’t seen,” he said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has promised that his administration is in the process of identifying alternative sources of livelihood for persons affected by the clampdown on illegal mining activities across the country.

According to President Akufo-Addo, a cabinet committee has been established and headed by the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong this effect.

The committee, he added, will also implement government’s strategy on combating the illegal mining menace.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, also said it will cost at least GHC500 million in finding alternative livelihood for people who are affected by illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’.

However, beyond these statements, nothing has been done -- more than six months into the campaign to root out illegal small scale miners destroying water bodies, arable land, and forest reserves.