General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
The minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu will, in the coming days be hauled before Parliament to answer questions on the collapse of a mining pit at Prestea Nsuta in the Western Region.
MP for Kumbungu Ras Mubarak is not happy with how government is handling the illegal small scale mining.
He has therefore filed an urgent question on the floor to which the Lands and Natural Resources Minister must answer.
The question comes a time when residents of Prestea-Nsuta in the Western Region are mourning the death of their colleagues who died in a mining disaster last Sunday.
At least 22 illegal miners are believed to have died when the mining pit theyr were working in caved in after a heavy rainfall last Sunday.
Some five miners were rescued alive. Only eight bodies were retrieved from the rubble.
With no hope of retrieving any further bodies, the Minister announced a suspension of the rescue mission.
The disaster comes at a time when the government has announced a ban on all small scale mining activities.
Even though the minister or the government cannot directly be blamed for the latest disaster, the MP for Kumbungu said he is not happy with the handling of the matter by the ministry, especially in respect of its response to the disaster.
He has called on government to review its approach to the fight against illegal mining in the country.
He is insisting on a plan that will provide an alternative source of livelihood for those engaged in illegal mining.
“I am of the view that what has happened makes rubbish of our entire campaign against galamsey.
“We need to begin to look at different strategies. What we have done is to successfully drive these people underground so they are no longer mining in the day time they are doing it in the night,” he said.
Whilst he agrees that the fight must be taken to the galamseyers, he said a more tactful approach needs to be done.