The Convener for the Media Coalition against illegal mining, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey has disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that the ban on illegal mining, also known as galamsey, is yielding positive results towards the aim of reducing carbon emissions.
Speaking at the 2023 Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, the President noted that the ban on galamsey, which has been destroying water bodies and forest reserves, has helped to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.
However, speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, Dr. Ashigbey said the empirical evidence on the outcome of the fight against galamsey suggests otherwise.
He argued that the effects of galamsey are evident in the rising water tariffs, the number of stillbirths and child deformities in mining areas due to the pollution of water bodies.
“The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) imposed an increase in water tariffs, and the reason is the cost of water treatment. The chemicals that the Ghana Water Company is using are no longer effective, and we also see situations where there are a lot of stillbirths and child deformities as a result of the polluted waters. In the recent past, Otumfuo has had to destool some chiefs because of their involvement in galamsey, and we have seen a lot of destruction to a lot of our forests.”
“We have heard that the Bui Dam is under threat from galamsey. We recently saw the Minister for Roads and Highways cause the arrest of some excavators that were going into the forest. He said that these are people who are not patriotic citizens. We also had the situation where the president had to dismiss the Bosome Freho MCE for confessing to an illegality.”