General News of Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Small scale miners in the Ashanti Region are set to demonstrate on Tuesday, September 12, to protest the continued ban on their activities.
The government announced a six-month ban on illegal and small-scale mining earlier this year, with the intention to sanitize the system.
However, small scale miners have been protesting the measure on grounds the government has denied them of their source livelihood without making provisions for an alternative.
They say the government is yet to tell them anything despite the expiration of the six-month ban.
One of the leaders of the intended demonstration, Bismark Okrah, told Joy News the small scale miners will go onto the streets to drum home their concerns.
“We are hitting on the streets of Kumasi to a sound our dissatisfaction to the President that we have sat home for the past six months. The duration of the ban has expired so we want to remind the President to reinstate the indigenous small scale miners,” said Mr. Okrah.
“We are hungry, our families are suffering. For the past six months, only God knows what we have gone through. As small scale miners we are ready to comply with all the laws on mining,” he added.
Meanwhile District Chief Executive for Amansie West, William Asante Bekoe, told Joy News the aggrieved miners must exercise patience as the government is yet to regularize the mining activities.
“The government is about to announce new modalities in regularizing the extraction activities. Other sources of livelihood will be introduced to sustain the youth with employment,” the DCE assured the aggrieved youth.
Member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta, Joseph Albert Quarm, urged the government to hasten with modalities on an alternative source livelihood for the sacked miners.
“I feel so sad to see my people staying home without doing anything. I feel their desperation but I want to appeal to the government to as soon as possible intervene in this situation with appropriate measures. Such alternative sources of livelihood will keep the youth active and also prevent them from venturing all sort of social vices.
“Unemployment is a threat to national security, so come up with measures to address this issue once and for all,” Mr. Quarm urged the government.