President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has pledged to continue the fight against illegal mining in Ghana, popularly known as galamsey.
A six-months ban on all forms of small-scale mining has been imposed as part of efforts to streamline the system and get rid of illegal mining with its degrading effects on the environment.
Speaking in Belgium at meeting with the Ghanaian community on Tuesday ahead of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals meeting, President Akufo-Addo said the fight should not be misconstrued as anti-mining, but a move to preserve the natural resources of the nation.
“We are not trying to ban mining in Ghana. We cannot do that. The mineral deposits in our country are part of our heritage, and are meant to be exploited for the benefit of this and future generations,” he said.
Galamsey to end
The President said his government would not rest until galamsey becomes a thing of the past in the country.
“We are not turning back until we make sure that our future is protected,” the President stressed.
He insisted his administration would not allow mining to compromise the future of the country, “compromise our environment, destroy and pollute our water bodies. If we do that, we will wake up tomorrow with no country to live in.”
“So we have identified illegal small-scale mining as the target for the fight against galamsey. We want to make sure that not only do we stop it, but the people who are involved in it find alternative employment,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo also said there were proposals which are in the pipeline, which includes using former illegal miners to reclaim the lands, as well as offering them incentives to go into farming.
Source: Daily Graphic