Galamseyers in Kumasi to petition Otumfuo over gov’t crackdown

The Small Scale Miners Association in Kumasi says it will petition the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II over government’s decision to stop galamsey.

The Association said it wants the Asantehene to speak to government to reconsider its decision on clamping down on small-scale illegal mining.

At a meeting in Kumasi Tuesday the Association said the government is unfairly magnifying the effects of the activities of its members as though it is the biggest threat in the country.

The government has intensified efforts to halt galamsey which is responsible for the pollution of the country’s water bodies. The Brim River in the Eastern Region and Ankobrah in the Western Region have been muddied by activities of illegal miners.

The Tano River in the Brong Ahafo Region has dried up for the first time in 40 years, a development that experts have described as worrying.

Lands Minister, John Peter Amewu has for the past week been touring some illegal mining sites in the Eastern and Western Regions to find ou the extent of damage caused the environment.

In the company of journalists on Saturday, he destroyed bags of sachet water belonging to some illegal miners in Tumentu in the Western Region.

The bags of water had been stored in a metal cage while the miners destroyed water bodies that serve residents in the community.

Disappointed by the extent of pollution caused the water bodies, Mr Amewu charged at the cage and destroyed the sachet water. The miners reportedly fled from the scene.

The Lands Minister has also asked all the mine inspectors in the nine mining districts to proceed on leave for their negligence in the galamsey fight.

Government has said it will put in place an alternative livelihood programme for illegal miners expected to be out of work following moves to end their activities.

The Lands Minister has explained government’s policy, Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP), will help absorb illegal miners who will be affected by the clampdown.

But the Small Scale Miners Association said it is dissatisfied with the handling its members.

It said government should not hide behind the cloak of creating jobs for its members when there are jobs on the ground.

The Association said it wants government to find a way of helping them mine in an environmental friendly manner rather than stopping them.

Comments