General News of Sunday, 16 July 2017
Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwasi Pratt Jnr says the national fight against illegal mining popularly called galamsey is misplaced insisting the government is lost on the main focus to deal with the menace.
Over the past five months, government has embarked on a rigorous exercise to stop the menace in all parts of the country, especially the galamsey plagued enclaves.
President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment to fight the menace.
Speaking at this year’s Ohum Festival at Kyebi in the Eastern region, President Akufo-Addo assured that his administration will leave no stone unturned in ensuring it protects the country’s natural resources.
Commenting on the national effort to stop the menace on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji political talk show, Mr. Pratt argued that the government and all stakeholders have failed to address the main concerns of the problem saying the focus should remain on curtailing the destruction of water bodies.
He said both the so called legal companies in the mining industry are also complicit in the destruction of water bodies calling for a more comprehensive approach that could sanitize the mining sector.
“…I believe that we want to sanitize mining. And we want to sanitize mining to the extent that our waters will no longer be polluted; our people will have safe water to plant food, Safe water to drink, Safe water to carry out industrial activities and so on. We want to preserve plant species, we want to preserve fish species and so on, biological species and so on. I’ll think that this is the objective. Now if that were the objective, then how come this useless emphasis on galamsey, because the evidence is that all mining companies do the same thing, whether they are so-called legal or illegal.
“Look there was one river somewhere in the Western region, I’m sure you all do remember, which was so badly polluted that all the fishes in the river died. Who did it ? Was it by illegal miners? It was by the so called legal giant multi-national corporation. So what we should be fighting is not the legal or illegal miners. Off course everything that is illegal should not happen. But the real focus should be that anybody who pollutes our waters and kills our fishes, whether is a giant multi-national corporation or a small-scale corporation or Chinese or Lebanese or Indonesian should be dealt with. So the focus on galamsey is totally misplaced.”