Former President John Dramani Mahama, who previously questioned the incumbent government’s approach to the fight illegal mining, has promised to ensure that the activity is properly regulated to provide sustainable employment for the youth if he is voted back into office in 2020.
According to Mr. Mahama, the new regulation is to make small scale mining environmentally friendly to the country’s water bodies and other resources.
Ghana continues to suffer from illegal mining activities, a situation that is destroying farmlands and water resources.
[contextly_sidebar id=”xz088yN3B2BkIFO26zcmDwgeNQDtxkZD”]As a result, the government was compelled to issue a ban on all forms of small scale mining in 2017 to sanitize the sector.
Analysts have also warned that Ghana may resort to the importation of clean water in the next two decades if the threat is not eradicated.
But addressing members of the opposition National Democratic Congress [NDC] in mining communities in the Ashanti Region, the NDC flagbearer aspirant said an NDC government will consider a new legal regime for addressing the issue.
“When I was in power, we used the military to force the miners out of the sites, just as this current government is doing. But we realized that, there was nothing left for them to feed on after they left the mining sites.”
“I am promising you that, should the NDC be voted back into power, we will regulate the activity in a way that will not destroy the environment. If this government fails to regulate small scale mining, we will restructure it so that the youth gain some meaningful employment , he added.
Mr. Mahama further mentioned that, he will introduce what he terms as the reclamation bond to compel small scale miners comply with environmental friendly measures as a means of employment.
“When you work, you save the little that you have. And so, when you are done digging the gold, you cover the pit before you go for your earnings. If you don’t fill the pit, the money will be given to someone else to fill it. It is an arrangement that has been made.”
World Bank approves $50m for fight against galamsey
In September 20118, the World Bank approved 50 million dollars to support the government’s efforts at addressing illegal small-scale mining under activities outlined in the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).
The draft manual of activities would be sponsored by the Bank and presented to its top management. The document was expected to be approved for implementation within the next two weeks.
Mr. Mamadou Barry, a Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractives at the Bank, made the disclosure when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Mr. Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, at the Ministry in Accra.
“Our mission is to assist the Government of Ghana in implementing the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project, which is to address the illegal mining issue. We’re to design the project and gather inputs, therefore, we have reached an agreement on the priority areas we would support, and also agreed on the funding and implementation arrangements so that we can start activities on the ground as quickly as possible,” Mr Barry stated.
Nana Addo chides judiciary over lenient galamsey sentences
President Akufo Addo recently expressed disappointment in what he believes are lenient sentences handed to persons found to be involved in illegal mining.
According to him, such sentences continue to be a source of worry as he believes that such culprits must be severely punished to serve as a good deterrent to others.
The president urged the judges to consider the highest form of punishment whenever they are to exercise their discretion in handing sentences to suspects in any of such crimes which he believes has very severe consequences including the destruction of the country’s environment.
“It continues to be a source of worry, that persons caught in the act of destroying our environment and polluting our water bodies, the inheritance of our future generations because of the phenomenon of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, get away with lenient sentences. As it is at certain places, the discretion must be exercised for the upper end, for the maximum. The concept of deterrence must be an important part of sentencing policy, especially in areas of great social concern such as the fight against galamsey and vigilantism,” the president said.
By: Nii Larte Lartey & Fred Tettey Djabanor | citinewsroom.com | Ghana