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General News of Sunday, 29 October 2017

Source: classfmonline.com

'Harsher anti-galamsey sanctions needed' - Dr Anthony Duah

Dr Anthony Duah, a senior scientist at the Water Resources Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is advocating tougher sentences for culprits engaged in illegal mining.

According to Dr Duah, the penalty units handed down to some galamseyers are too meagre and do not deter others from engaging in similar activities.

He wants harsher punitive measures that will ensure preservation of the environment and water bodies.

Speaking at a day’s sensitisation exercise organised by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) at Ahafo Kenyasi in the Brong Ahafo Region, he was of the view that “when Operation Vanguard (anti-galamsey taskforce) and others arrest them and send them to court, the prosecution is so bad”.

He continued: “When you come to foreigners, the Minerals and Mining Act talks about 30,000 to 300,000 penalty units or from 10 to 30 years imprisonment, but we have a judge who is giving Chinese people who have been arrested GHS2,400 fines while the minimum should have GHS 360,000. You have most of the Ghanaians also being fined just GHS 2, 400 [and] that will not be deterrent enough.”

Dr Duah explained that the use of mercury and other chemicals for mining at Kenyasi is harmful to residents and must be curbed.