General News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has noted that he was convinced that the galamsey trade was being perpetrated by a network of politicians, businessmen and “I daresay, nananom.”
President Akufo-Addo said “so dire is the situation that Ghana’s neighbours are now complaining of foul river bodies as a result of galamsey activities in Ghana.
He was addressing a forum against illegal mining organised chiefly to get Ghana’s chiefs involved in the fight against illegal mining.
He narrated what he described as an embarrassing spectacle when the Ivorian President, in a recent conference attended by Ghanaian Minister of Environment, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, complained about how Ivorian rivers were beginning to be desecrated as a result of galamsey activities in Ghana.
“Rivers, waters, forests don’t know national boundaries; they run across nations. The activities of Ghanaian illegal miners are jeopardising the space of our neighbours,” he said.
“Rivers that have been with us for centuries are drying up,” he said, adding that it is time to end this debacle.
“It will be a betrayal of the trust imposed on me if I fail to end this,” he stated but was quick to point out that his commitment alone will not be enough to solve the canker.
For an institution that was vociferous in fighting the colonial masters for Ghana’s lands which had been taken over by the British, President Akufo-Addo, noted that the chiefs and traditional leaders once again must write their names in gold by joining the fight against galamsey.
He said even though he has great allies in government, the war against galamsey cannot be won without the influence of the chiefs.
“We cannot win this fight without the traditional support of chiefs,” he said, adding that “for any serious project, if you are not involved it doesn’t happen.”
He mentioned that the government was designing a policy, a package designed to stop galamsey, reclaim the land, and provide alternative jobs for the youth.