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General News of Monday, 8 May 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Create other livelihoods for illegal miners – CSO

A Civil Society Group, Banfu Africa Research Institute (BARI) has asked Government to provide a blue print in terms of the alternative livelihood support programs for people engaged in galamsey.

According to BARI the fight against galamsey will fail without adequate alternative livelihood programs to support operators when they exit.

President of the Institute, Eugene Bawelle, made the call when he interacted with the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio in Australia on the sidelines of the Kimberly Process meeting.

“The issue of alternative livelihood programme is important because of the economic multiplier effect of stopping galamsey altogether. There are a number of beneficiaries along the chain in this galamsey business so as a country it is important that we research into countries such as Chille, Brazil, Zambia and South Africa and how they have dealt with similar situations.”

“If you ask why we will not just discard the galamseyers because galamsey is criminal, then you are forgetting the political factor as well as the security implications of no income generating activity for these illegal miners. So it is important that they are offered other alternatives such that they can hang on to in terms of their economic wellbeing,” he added.

Planting for Food and Jobs to absorb galamseyers

But, the Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio, has disclosed that government’s policy of planting for food and jobs will be rolled out in galamsey communities to create the needed jobs for galamsey operators.

He said even though there would be a disparity in terms of earnings from mining and these livelihood support programs, it would help keep people from going back into to galamsey.