General News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said government has not given up on the fight against illegal mining also known as ‘galamsey’.
A former Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwabena Mintah Akandor, had accused the government of losing the fight against ‘galamsey’ because it was not using the right approach to fighting the illegality.
But Dr. Bawumia said the government has adopted a forceful but comprehensive approach in dealing with the menace by resourcing the security services to sustain the fight.
Speaking at a sensitisation program for traditional leaders on measures to address the ‘galamsey’ menace in Accra yesterday, Dr. Bawumia said government is ensuring that it provides alternative livelihoods for affected persons.
“Nana Akufo-Addo realizes that stopping ‘galamsey’ also means that we have to provide alternative livelihoods for the people who engage in the ‘galamsey’ activities because some may just be engaging in it as part of desperation and not knowing what to do to make a living. So we have to take into account a comprehensive and holistic solution to this ‘galamsey’ issue.
“We have to deal forcefully with this and that is where the role of the police and the armed forces will come in. and they are being resourced to deal with this. We are seeing this not as a onetime matter that if we are going to deal with the problem of ‘galamsey’, it has to be a sustained effort; you don’t go in and go out.
“Because once you go out, they will just wait for you to go out and they will come back again and continue. So in terms of preparation, and that is why some have wondered why it is taking time; you have to prepare to send in the full forces and troops for a sustained effort to deal with the ‘galamsey’ menace,” he added.