President Akufo-Addo has rehashed his commitment to halting illegal small scale mining popularly known as galamsey in the country.
According to him, generations prior to the current one albeit engaged in mining activities, were meticulous in not degrading the land.
In addressing residents of Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region as part of his campaign tour of the Region, President Akufo-Addo government intends to make mining better with policies it endeavors to undertake.
“Our forefathers engaged in the activities of mining in a way that didn’t degrade the land because if they had done that, we (current generation) wouldn’t have come to meet the lands, rivers and other resources. So if we are also going to engage in mining activities, we should do it in a way that will preserve same”.
“That is what I said and I still stand by it, and I am not changing my mind on it. We are coming up with policies that will make mining in the country better which is the community mining, which will not collapse the jobs of those involved in it. Don’t listen to someone (Mahama) who knows nothing about what we are doing and is just on a promising spree.”
John Dramani Mahama speaking at Odum Banso in the Mpohor Constituency in the Western Region during his regional tour expressed his intent in granting amnesty to jailed illegal small scale mining operators should he win the December elections.
According to him, the incumbent government’s bid to fighting galamsey led to the arrest and jailing of these Ghanaians.
“It’s sad. The government said it was fighting galamsey, and they arrested, prosecuted, and jailed Ghanaians who were engaged in that activity but left the Chinese woman [Aisha Huang].
“Today, they are still in prison. That Chinese galamsey queen was arrested but left to go free. She was never prosecuted but our people are in jail suffering. When we come, we shall grant all those arrested and jailed some amnesty. They will come back to their homes and work. I believe that they have suffered enough, shown remorse for whatever wrong they committed. We will institute measures to check the operations of small scale mining”.
President Akufo-Addo as part of his State of the Nation Address in Parliament earlier in 2020, resolvedly committed to tackling the issue of galamsey in the country.
He stated that, galamsey activities were rampant in many parts of the country, when he came to office in 2017.
“The previous NDC government had given up the fight against galamsey, but we determined that this was an intolerable situation, and we owed it to generations unborn to tackle the problem and save our environment. I was therefore not under any illusion about the size and scope of the problem that we are taking on.
“I was cheered by the support of the large population that recognized the dangers posed by the degradation of our lands and water bodies and the needless deaths of many young people who were buried alive in makeshift mining pits. Mr. Speaker, the threat posed to the future of our country by galamsey is grave. We cannot shirk our responsibility in the fight against galamsey. The government will not weaken its stance and welcomes the continued support of the media coalition. The Inter-ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining has been working very hard and has some successes”.