General News of Saturday, 16 December 2017
Lands and Natural resources minister, John Peter Amewu has hinted that government will lift the ban on small-scale mining by the end of January 2018.
In October this year, the minister during an inspection of some lands across the country reclaimed following galamsey activities disclosed that the ban has been extended for another three months. The announcement triggered various protests by the Small-scale miners association.
However, speaking in an interview, the minister assured that the ban will be lifted to enable the miners work.
The minister revealed,” We expect that at the end of January, ongoing auditing processes will be completed, and cabinet will be requested to approve the lifting of the ban. Once the level of cleanliness of the water bodies is checked, a good number of people have been trained and licenses are validated, the ban will be lifted.”
He admitted that the ban has affected many livelihoods negatively but the effect of the problems resulting from their activities on society as a whole was considered in the move.
“Some people’s livelihood depends on these mining activities, so if for about six months they cannot generate that income, it will result in some suffering, but what we examined is the cost and the terms of the externalities generated as a result of doing the wrong thing compared to the suffering of certain individuals.”, he explained.
After several appeals to government for the ban to be lifted, the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) in November disclosed plans to form a political party on the basis that the country’s two major political parties, NPP and NDC have both failed to protect their interest.
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Small Scale miners reveal plans to form political party