General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
The Small Scale Miners Association (SSMA) has implored government to make Lands Minister John Peter Amewu, the head of the Inter-Ministerial Galamsey Taskforce.
The Association said its members have found it difficult to work with the Science Minister, Professor Frimpong Boateng as the leader of the team because he is not directly in charge of mining.
In an interview with Joy News’ Latif Iddrisu Thursday, General Secretary of the Association, Godwin Armah said the fight against illegal mining will be won if the Lands Minister is put in charge of the Taskforce.
“We think the Lands Ministry should be playing the lead role and supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because their main mandate is to look at mining in general,” he said.
The country has made some progress since the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce was inaugurated to clampdown on illegal mining localised as galamsey.
Ghana’s water bodies, forest reserves, and lands were attacked by activities of illegal miners.
But some muddied waters including the Ankobrah River in the Western Region and Birim River in the Eastern Region have shown signs of recovering, the first time in many months.
The progress is attributed to efforts of the team of police and military personnel sent to drive out illegal miners from their mining sites.
But the Small Scale Miners Association that has maintained its members are legally registered to engage in mining said it will support government if the Lands Minister is made the head of the Galamsey Taskforce.
“We are pushing that the Lands Minister should lead the team to make everything easy for us,” Mr Armah said.
He also made an appeal to government to make some fund available to its members, claiming the anti-galamsey campaign has rendered its members jobless.
The Association was in a crunch meeting with the Lands Minister and his two deputies over the continuous activities of some illegal miners.