The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), has debunked claims purporting that the Ministry used GHS10,000,000 on ten conferences and dialogues in the fight against galamsey.
In a presser by the Lands Ministry, it stated that the allegations levelled against the Ministry was untrue. It noted that the Ministry was notified of the said allegations in a media reportage in circulation.
“The attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been drawn to a story in a section of the media, where the Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini, alleges that the Ministry spent Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GHS10,000,000) on ten(10) conferences and dialogues in the fight against galamsey. The Ministry wants to state, categorically, that the said allegation is false and has no factual basis.”Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
The Ministry of Lands and Natural resources, however, assured that at the appropriate time, the state agencies charged with auditing the accounts of the Ministry will do their work as mandated by law and take the appropriate actions if any wrongdoing is detected.
Detailing the programme which led to the allegations, the Ministry recalled the President’s directive for a national dialogue to be held on illegal mining which was threatening the nation’s water bodies and environment. It stated that the President directed that the necessary measures be taken to fight the canker resulting in an event held in that regard.
Pursuant to this directive, the Ministry noted that it organized a two-day national consultative dialogue on small-scale mining which brought together stakeholders from across the country, to agree on a common non-partisan approach to fight the menace. According to the Ministry, the Dialogue resulted in a fifteen-point resolution, including the need to hold a similar dialogue in all sixteen (16) regions of our country.
The Lands Ministry indicated that, as a way of prudently managing the public purse, it adopted a strategy to bring together the regions and hold the dialogues on a zonal basis. “Accordingly, two regional dialogues were held in Kumasi for the forest zone and Tamale for the savannah zone.”
“In addition to the Dialogues, the Ministry undertook a working visit to all the sixteen regions of our country, where we engaged various stakeholders to solicit their support to fight illegal mining.”Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
Ministry fully funded meetings
According to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, it fully funded all these meetings. The Ministry noted that it also provided some funding to the Regional Security Councils to assist in the fight against galamsey.
Highlighting on the measures put in place to ensure that the Ministry is able to quickly act on reports of illegal mining, the Ministry set up a Monitoring and Evaluation Team, together with a Situation Room, to receive reports of illegal mining and act swiftly on them. And to ensure that those affected by the clamp down on illegal mining are given alternative sources of livelihood, the Ministry launched a National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), as part of its strategies to deal with illegal mining.
The Ministry further touted that in partnership with the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), it introduced a Small Scale Miners Award Scheme to reward and encourage responsible and environmentally-sound small scale mining.
“The cost of all these and many other programmes and policies being implemented by the Ministry, including the revamping of the Community Mining Schemes, the establishment of Small Scale Mining Committees in the various mining districts of our country, the resourcing the Minerals Commission, and the introduction of the mercury-free gold katcha, form part of the Ministry’s expenditure on the fight against illegal scale mining.”Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources