President of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, Nana Dwomoh Sarpong, has cast doubt on government’s preparedness to clamp down on illegal mining activities known as galamsey in the country.
He said the sophisticated manner the illegal miners carry their activities with the support of some politicians makes it near impossible for their destructive activities to be arrested.
His Saturday remarks come days after the Lands and Forestry Minister, John Peter Amenu, announced he intends to tackle illegal mining with the aid of drones.
Ghana is losing its forest and river bodies to activities of illegal miners, a development experts have said will adversely affect the country in the coming years.
The Tano River in the Brong Ahafo Region has dried up for the first time in 40 years. Residents blame it on the intense nature of illegal mining activities in the Region.
Mr Peter Amewu who has promised to stamp out illegal mining said he will partner with stakeholders in the industry to end destructive activities near Ghana’s natural resources.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has also lamented the damage caused river bodies and land in the country when he delivered his speech at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary.
But Nana Dwomoh Sarpong whose organisation seeks to protect flora and fauna in the country said although Mr Peter Amewu’s decision to use drones might help, it will not yield the right results.
He explained any effort to address the issue requires a multifaceted approach taking into perspective the number of key people who are sponsoring the illegal miners.
Nana Dwomoh Sarpong bemoaned the shutting down of a number of water treatment plants because their sources have been polluted by activities of illegal miners.
“Ghana may soon import drinking water from neighbouring countries if illegal mining also known ‘galamsey’ is not checked,” he repeated experts warning.
He wants government to consider regularising activities of illegal miners under strict environmental rules if the intention is to end the galamsey menance.
This suggestion he said will enable Ghanaians to also benefit from the natural resources which is a disincentive to violence in mining areas.