A group of religious leaders in Ghana are calling for an immediate temporary ban on small-scale mining to help deal with illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
The unlawful mining activity has caused massive destruction to water bodies and lands in most mining areas, with many demanding for urgent action to fight the canker.
Addressing the media on behalf of the religious leaders, the National President of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International Ghana, Emmanuel Baba Mahama outlined some policies that government could adopt in tackling the menace.
“We have noticed that many companies hide behind legal small-scale mining, to wreak havoc on the environment. To that end, we call for the immediate ban on all forms of small-scale mining, whether licensed or not, until a workable and satisfactory roadmap has been established to ensure responsible mining in our country.”
The group also threatened to use legal means in ensuring the dismissal of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives supervising illegal mining activities in their areas, if the river bodies are not returned to their normal state by June 30, 2023.
“We give an ultimatum to MMDCEs in the country to ensure that, water bodies that have been polluted because of illegal mining are cleaned by June 30, 2022. The religious bodies in the country are ready to mobilize legal teams to go to court and have MMDCEs who have allowed the menace in their jurisdiction removed.”
Chiefs have been noted as critical in the fight against illegal mining because of their authority over lands vested in them.
But they have also been criticised for being complicit in illegal mining.
The Asantehene, for example, said chiefs cannot absolve themselves of the blame for the destruction of the environment caused by illegal miners.
As part of the recent renewed attention on illegal mining, President Akufo-Addo met with the National House of Chiefs to seek their support in the illegal mining fight.