General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has underscored the need for Ghanaians to work extra hard to win the fight against galamsey.
Our entire environment, according to the former President, was under serious attack and was being destroyed and ruined and it was traumatic seeing rivers and streams polluted.
“It is also very worrying as the situation is fast spreading diseases and causing serious damage and havoc to the country’s greenery, her forests, without limits,” he cautioned.
Mr Kufuor was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra during an interaction at the residence of the French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Francois Pujolas.
This followed the introduction of Madam Audrey Azoulay, who has been the French Minister of Culture and Communications, who is currently contesting the position of the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Curbing the galamsey scourge, in the view of Mr Kufuor, required the efforts of everybody, and especially anybody with a sense of posterity.
The former President regretted the alarming rate at which the galamsey menace was growing and spreading across the whole country.
That, he noted, should be a source of worry to all and the reason all must get on board.
“I am confident that the country has many good people who care about the devastating effects of galamsey and the future of the country and what we have to leave for generations to come. All of them must get on board,’’ Mr Kufuor said.
He expressed worry about the indiscriminate manner in which these activities are undertaken and the total disregard for the adverse effects and observed that in some cases, the mining activities even took place in people’s homes.
‘’When such behaviours are not stopped and they are allowed to continue, there will be no hope in the future of our communities or nation, and this has to be addressed,’’ he advised.
The former President said the behaviour of the people could be likened to the ‘Dutch disease’.
Under the Dutch disease, which usually or often relate to natural resources, he said, people tended to abandon the hitherto legitimate and proper way to earn revenue.
Anywhere in the world that gold is mentioned, people lose their balance and do all sorts of things, he observed.
The former President said there was the need for a well-regulated and monitored approach, with appropriate technology under strict supervision.
He added that there was the need to educate the people on the hazardous effects of their galamsey activities.
Present at the function were the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Madam Catherine Abelema Afeku; s former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and Ghana’s Ambassador designate for France, Ms Anna Bossman, the President of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), Prof. Atukwei Okai, and the wife of the French Ambassador, Madam Revati Pujolas, among others.