Samuel Jinapor, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister-designate has applauded President Akufo-Addo’s commitment in permanently putting an end to illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in the country in spite of ensuing challenges.
Addressing the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, Mr. Samuel Jinapor said, challenges ongoing with halting the activities of illegal mining is one which is likely to occur considering the industry being engaged.
“In every dispensation, when you’re rolling out policies, especially you’re dealing with intricate sectors such as small-scale mining, you’ll have problems. I have taken time to study a lot of literature and noted that all the previous ministers encountered lots of challenges.
“You’ll often have party people and lots of big wigs fighting against the process. What is important is that the president is absolutely committed to making an impact in this illegal small-scale mining industry”.
He further noted, that he will indulge in the full application of the law firmly to counter the activities of individuals engaged in illegal mining.
“I agree that you will often have people in your own party and chiefs trying to frustrate the [fight against illegal mining] but I want to give a firm assurance that if I get the approval of Parliament, I’m moving in there with all humility and modesty to apply the law without few or favor.”
President Akufo-Addo, some years back declared his preparedness to put his presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey. Recently, however, there have been complaints that the water bodies have been polluted due to increasing levels of activities on illegal mining in various parts of the country after taking some time to salvage its natural state.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation-designate, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, on February 19, 2021 during his turn before the vetting committee said regulation of excavators will be an apt means of tackling illegal mining.
Dr. Afriyie cited the introduction of heavy earth moving equipment to small scale mining in 1989 as the day “Ghana’s environmental problems begun” and in addressing the problem, he suggested that excavators be accounted for and banned.
“We should have a census of excavators in this country, and we should even consider a temporary ban on them.
“Decommission some of them, sell some of them off and then put a ban on some of them and by attrition get the numbers that we can use for small scale mining”.
The Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation nominee further stated that the risk posed by chanfans which are used to wash minerals in water bodies should also be banned.
“We should criminalize the unlicensed manufacture of washing plants because you know that washing plant is going to be used to do galamsey in water bodies.
“We should have a law that based on the available resources we have, perhaps no more than 50 square km should be mined at any point in time just like we regulate frequency moderation in this country.”
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