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General News of Monday, 10 April 2017


Invisible powers will make fight against ‘galamsey’ difficult – ACEP warns

The Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has warned that the government will not find it easy in its fight against illegal mining, popularly known in the local language as ‘galamsey’ because of some invisible powers that are deeply involved in the act.

According to the think tank organization, for the government to be successful in this endeavor, responsibility must be placed right where it belongs to.

In a statement signed by its Deputy Executive Director, Benjamin Boakye, and dated April 10, 2017, ACEP said the government cannot win the battle against illegal mining if those to be held accountable live outside the suffering communities.

One major factor which has been a stumbling block in the fight against ‘galamsey’ by successive governments has been how to deal with the invisible powers behind the act.

“Some of the faces that show up in the day against ‘galamsey’ are also the same ones that are, at night, behind the dredging of river bodies, the destruction of cocoa farms and the abandoned pits that serve as death traps in mining communities.”

“We cannot win the battle against ‘galamsey’ if those held accountable live in Accra and are out of touch,” the statement in part cautioned.

In the view of ACEP, for the government to be successful in its pledge against illegal mining, it must decentralize accountability to chiefs, District Chief Executives, Local-level leadership of the EPA, District Commanders of State’s Security Agencies as well as other bearers in the sector.

“These must have primary responsibility for the sustenance of the environment and be required to give account of their stewardship to local communities and the Central Government,” noted ACEP.

It said the Central Government must also be on the beat to support local authorities with security reinforcement and logistics when needed.

They also want Civil Society and the general public to play a leading role by providing the needed oversight to keep all duty bearers in check.