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General News of Monday, 8 May 2017

Source: graphic.com,gh

Deliberate steps needed to formalise galamsey operators - GMWU

The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the government to take deliberate steps to formalise the operations of illegal small-scale miners, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ operators.

That, the union said, should be done after a successful completion of the ongoing campaign to curb the activities of illegal miners which were presently posing a serious threat to the country’s water bodies.

“Successive governments failed to enforce the law concerning illegal mining some years ago when it started, neither did they put monitoring mechanisms in place to check the core of the problem,” the General Secretary of the union, Mr Prince William Ankrah, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of an annual get-together last Monday (May 1) in Accra.

The get-together was organised by the GMWU to reward members of the union for their esteemed contribution to the mining industry in the country.

Support for campaign

Mr Ankrah expressed the resolve of the union to support the government in the quest to flush out activities of illegal small-scale miners, which were posing various degrees of threat to the security of its members.

Towards that end, he has announced plans of the union to join the present media campaign to put pressure on the government to act in order to stop the illegal activity in the country.

The Media Coalition against Galamsey last month launched its Galamsey Must Stop advocacy programme to put pressure on the government in order to act to stop the illegal activity once and for all.

The coalition also decided to be hard on people in high positions including politicians, chiefs and security people who condoned the illegal act.

Capitalise on the good name

The general secretary charged the government to use the good name gained in the public domain to flush out the galamsey operators from the system.

“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said recently that his government would strive to flush out all the galamsey operators, even if it would affect his second term as president. We think it is the right thing which needs to be commended,” he said.

He called on the government to be bold and enforce the law and halt the activities of these illegal small-scale miners, adding: “We believe that enforcement of the law still remains a major challenge and needs to be looked at closely, and this should be done devoid of politicisation.”