By: Felix Cofie
Government has begun community sensitization as part of the fight against illegal mining (galamsey).
The first of such community engagements have been held with Chiefs, Opinion Leaders, Small Scale Miners, and residents of Hemang in the Fanteakwa South District on how they can collaborate with government to eradicate illegal mining.
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources George Mireku Duker in an address made a passionate call on Nananom and Ghanaians, in general, to liaise with and support government to win the fight.
He strongly encouraged them to consider the dire ramifications of illegal mining on the country’s waterbodies before offering tacit or explicit support for any form of illegal mining.
According to him, government’s resolve to fight illegal mining is not borne out of personal interest but rather in the interest of Ghanaians and unborn generations.
Stressing the need for the public to throw their weight behind the government, Hon. Mireku Duker espoused that “a win against illegal mining is a win for all so let’s all come together and do this”.
Allaying concerns of unemployment and livelihood issues that could emanate from government’s fight against illegal mining, Hon, Mireku Duker outlined that an alternative livelihood program was introduced by government to solve these challenges.
He mentioned the Community Mining Scheme, reclamation and afforestation modules as some of the interventions rolled out by the government to ensure that people who desist from illegal mining operations have something to survive on.
“It’s a shame that we’ve allowed our lands to be destroyed to this point. Long-term enjoyment is better than short term so we must all think about that. People give out their cocoa lands for galamsey money. You’ll get the money but for how long.
“Lets all think about the future. If we all decide to mine responsibly, we’ll enjoy for the long-term and also save our lands and rivers. Government is ensuring that the license regime is rigid and well-followed. We need to report all persons engaged in illegal mining.
“Lets protect our lands for future generations. We all must embrace the right form of mining. We’ll continue to sensitize and educate the public on the need to protect our resources. All Ghanaians must know that mining can be beneficial to us but must be done the right way. The sensitization is key to solving the menace,” he said.
The District Chief Executive Officer of Fanteakwa South, Ernest Ofosu noted with optimism that the engagements with the chiefs and residents of Fanteakwa will be immediate and long-term fruits.
He appealed to his people to pick nuggets from the program and help government win the fight against illegal mining.
The Chief Inspector of Mines at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Kofi Adjei urged the people, especially cocoa farmers not to give out their lands for galamsey activities.
He said illegal mining was dangerous and come at the cost of many innocent lives.