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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Columnist: Abubakar Saddique Ahmed

An open letter to the President on galamsey

Dear President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Good morning to you and your beautiful wife, Rebecca.

This morning, I write to you on a sad issue and it is about illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.

Your Excellency, illegal mining (galamsey) has caused this country more harm than good. It has destroyed water bodies such river Densu, river Pra, river Birim, etc with mercury, cynide and other chemicals. It has destroyed our forests and cocoa farms as well. Most of our children die in dug out pits , malaria and cholera.

The last time I checked, it's contribution to GDP is very low as compared to Cocoa and even the export of bushmeat. So, i ask : why can't we as a country stop this illegal mining (galamsey) with a political will?

However, it is evidenced that, those involved in this galamsey are high ranking members of political parties including the NPP, Chiefs, Security officers and some other influential people in society.

Your Excellency, several other governments have promised to tackle this issue but has failed woefully. You have promised the people of Ghana to tackle this issue. Remember that, you will never be forgotten if you are able to tackle this galamsey menace.

Your Excellency, I know you can better tackle this galamsey within 1-2 years of your administration by offering alternative employment avenues for the youth engaged in galamsey and Agriculture is one of them. Even though a lot of Ghanaians are cynical but I hope you will prove them wrong by clamping down on this serious national issue that sometimes makes the likes of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako,Ace Ankomah, Lloyd Amoah and several others want to lose faith in this country. I have personally visited some parts of the Western region and I have seen how water, cocoa farms and forest reserves are been destroyed by galamsey.

Your Excellency, must we allow what can be depleted (GOLD) to take the lives of our children, destroy our water bodies, forests and cocoa (highest foreign exchange earner for Ghana) . In the western region for example, about 5.3million gallons of water is lost a day according to the Ghana water company limited.

As Citizen, I suggest the following :

1. Ban all small-scale mining in all the mining centers in this country to help save our water, forest and almighty COCOA.

2. Institute military task force to be on guard in those mining communities to deal with recalcitrant ones with the use of drones.

3. Enact mining laws that will give stiffer punishment to those who will engage in galamsey especially on Chiefs and Politicians.

4. Invest more in Agriculture to push those engaged in mining to benefit from Agriculture.

5. Task the big mining companies to redevelop mining towns such as Obuasi, Tarkwa, Prestea because none of these towns looks like there's mining going on there.

These and many others I believe if put in place can help solve the galamsey menace but not only by lip service. Talking alone cannot solve this problem. Thank you.

God bless you and bless our homeland Ghana.

Your fellow Citizen

....signed. ...

A.A Saddique