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Opinions of Thursday, 6 April 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Let all Ghanaians rally to call for the total abolition of galamsey from the country

I have over the years published my views on the ongoing devastating surface mining locally called galamsey. I once even directed a Member of Parliament to read my views emailed to him on the floor of Parliament.

I am calling for a blanket ban on galamsey without our parliamentarians wasting any further time trying to polish an existing law to make it more difficult for many people to go into that ecologically-ruinous trade.

This galamsey is known to all discerning Ghanaians to be damaging our lands and water bodies, especially, at the infatuated crescendo with which the Chinese have flooded into the country to involve themselves in the trade. Why should we allow foreigners, most of whom are illegals anyway, to come into Ghana to savage our lands and water bodies without mercy?

Is it because of the soft loans the Chinese government gives to Ghana that make our governments unable to raise their voice against the devastation the Chinese in Ghana are wreaking on our lands and water bodies? Is it because of the gifts of school blocks, intermittent donations to natural disaster victims etc., that the Chinese Ambassador in Ghana makes, that have convinced us of the Chinese love for Ghana hence giving them that free hand to aggressively exploit our mineral wealth at the expense of our future well-being?

If the Chinese government gives Ghana loans or aid, with the interspersed gifts and donations their ambassador makes are enough to persuade us as a people and nation to allow their nationals in the country to spoil our lands and waters, then I am sorry to say, Ghanaians are really little-minds. By the Chinese attitude towards Ghana, does it not reflect the saying, robbing Peter to pay Paul? What do we gain if they take our mineral wealth and in the process spoil our lands and waters, but give us a tiny fraction in soft loans and gifts in return?

Do Ghanaians know the importance of water and land in the survival of human race on this planetary earth on which we live? If we allow them to spoil our water bodies with the chemicals they use (e.g. cyanide) to doing their galamsey business, where do we go for potable water to drink? If we allow them to spoil our fertile lands, where can we get lands to cultivate to produce food to feed ourselves? Are we not going to die in our numbers when we become faced with the dearth of arable lands to cultivate for food production and water to drink?

Why are many people dying in Ghana from formerly unknown-to-the-Ghanaian causes of diseases? Could some of the diseases and deaths not be the result of the galamsey?

We should not allow the incompetence; corrupt attitudes and the insatiable greed by a few Ghanaians including traditional chiefs, politicians and family heads ruin the lives of all Ghanaians and the chances of survival of the future generations.

When something is not good, it indeed is not good. You can't make poison any better; it will still remain poison. Therefore, our legislators should not think of making laws that will make it harder for many people to go into doing galamsey. They should rather come out with a law to ban galamsey from the country without any ifs or buts. Ghanaian citizens or foreigners should not be allowed to do galamsey, period!

How can galamsey be a viable source of job creation for the youth when its end result is more damaging and costly to the nation in terms of deaths to the people, damage to the water bodies and non-availability of fertile lands for food production?

I am for a total ban of galamsey from Ghana. Some little-minds think that attempt is not feasible. Should we be ready to enforce our laws in all honesty and cease our silly fondness for corruption, everything is achievable.

Ghana is the only country we have so let us all join hands together to rescue it from destruction by the greedy Chinese and our myopic but overwhelmingly greedy politicians.

Rockson Adofo