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‘Political will hindering fight against galamsey’ – Richard Ellimah

The Director for the Centre of Social Impact Studies, Mr. Richard Ellimah, has blamed the failure of the President Akufo-Addo government to eradicate small-scale mining destroying large tracts of land and forest reserves on political will.

Speaking on Adwenekasa, Thursday, April 15, 2021, Mr. Ellimah asserted that party financiers and other prominent people in the country are profiting from the menace.

“There are powerful investors behind every galamsey site. Most of them are in Accra when you check their profile; they’re powerful politicians, chiefs, and police commanders. A recent documentary captured a military officer giving directives to his subordinates to protect galamsey sites. This is the problem impeding galamsey,” he told Kwaku Owusu Adjei on Original 91,9FM.

According to the director of the Centre for Social Impact Studies “If any intervention is designed without targeting this, it is going to fail”.

Mr. Ellimah noted that leaders of the nation are aware of the problem and how to address it but political will has been the hindrance.

In his view, prosecuting individuals mining the mineral resources illegally will halt the practice destroying water bodies and leading to loss of lives and properties.

The Minister mentioned it in his speech. What we expect is he should get the courage to arrest that party financier, chief leasing his land to illegal miners, Chinese nationals, powerful businessman in Accra, Kumasi, or Takoradi indulging in galamsey.  Unfortunately the nature of our politics it is difficult to get a Minister with such courage.

His comments come on the back of the president launching the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale Mining on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

The forum is a two-day roundtable programme to discuss challenges confronting the small-scale mining sector.

The forum will have deliberations on possible solutions and inputs from key mining experts, the Small-Scale Mining Association, the Coalition of Civil Society Against Illegal Small-Scale Mining, among others.

Speaking on the launch of the forum on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said he is hopeful the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale Mining will result in a national policy backed by a national consensus.

“We cannot have one part of the political divide campaigning for galamsey in the bush and the other waging an official fight against galamsey in the open,” President Akufo-Addo said.

By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Originalfmonlineline.com | Ghana

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