Legalising the much maligned practice of illegal small scale mining, also known as galamsey, is on the agenda of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), according to its flagbearer, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet.
“We believe galamsey should be legalised,” he said, responding to a question on the issue, during the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) Evening Encounter series on Tuesday.
Mr. Greenstreet acknowledged that the activities of illegal miners were detrimental to the environment, among other things, but he noted that “we are now confronted with not a law and order situation with galamsey, but a serious socio-economic situation because thousands of households have now become dependent on it.”
He argued that an emphasis on small scale mining will ensure that more mining revenue remains in the country.
“Small scale mining is legal but galamsey is illegal. We have to do far more for the small scale mining sector because after all, despite the unfortunate environmental degradation, the money stays in Ghana,” the CPP flatterer opined.
He noted that, 80 percent of the revenue the large mining firms accrue from mining goes outside the country but “30 percent of total gold output is coming from small scale mining and galamsey, 30 percent, and all of that money is remaining in Ghana.”
Mr. Greenstreet explained that, the process of legalizing ‘galamsey’ would require meticulous planning especially in dealing with the consequence of pollution.
According to him, “You don’t just wake up one day and decide you are legalising galamsey because it requires serious attention to the kind of training they would be given, serious attention to changing the way they go about their practices and that will require cross party support and require so many experts to be involved in that process because as at now, the damage they are causing to our water bodies is horrific.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana