Retired mine workers blame Minerals Commission for ‘galamsey’

Business News of Saturday, 29 September 2018



File photo – Galamsey workers

The Retired Mine Workers Foundation of Ghana (REMWUS), has accused the Minerals Commission for the upsurge in illegal mining.

Ghana continues to suffer from the activities of persons engaged in illegal mining, a situation that is destroying farmlands and water resources.

As a result, the government was compelled to issue a ban on all forms of small-scale mining in 2017 to sanitize the sector.

Analysts have also warned that Ghana may resort to the importation of clean water in the next two decades if the threat is not eradicated.

In an interview with Citi News, President of the association, Dr. Michael Bugiri, called on the government to reconsider its decision to lift the ban on small-scale mining until a viable framework for alternative livelihood is rolled out.

When asked if the minerals commission has contributed to the rise in illegal mining in the country, Dr. Bugiri answered in the affirmative.

“Exactly, and I will continue to say it. The last time we met the minerals commission, they were saying, the LIP is in the future. We should go for the old order. People should go for license and start working, so you could see that there is no collaboration between the ministry, minerals commission who are the implementers and the MMIP project. So I don’t see any cohesion within these three agencies”.

“We have engaged all the ministers over the years and they know us very well. We did the youth to mining project and others. If they had adhered to some of the proposals we had proposed over the years some of these things happening would have been minimized”, he stressed.

Gov’t must do more to address the menace

Also, Chairman of the association, Daniel Kwesi Kugblenu has charged President Nana Addo to show more commitment to address the issue holistically.

“Our proposal includes planning for mining industrial operations, thus alternative livelihood, land reclamation programs, full funding and favorable job creation for small scale miners”.

Gov’t launches new software to fight galamsey

The inter-ministerial task-force on Galamsey has adopted what it calls technology-driven strategies to combat illegal mining.

Key among the technologies is a software called Galamstop, which will monitor the activities of illegal miners.

Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Task-force Against Illegal Mining, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, said the team hopes the innovations will culminate in the eventual lifting of the ban.

“These are things that have been pledged at this conference in the fight against illegal mining. The integration of activities of these regulatory agencies through a computer application we call Galamstop. The Minerals Commission, EPA, Water Resources Commission, Forestry Commission, our current DCEs will be integrated through this software application.”

Gov’t to lift the ban on small-scale mining by December

The government has given the assurance that it may lift the ban on all forms of small-scale mining by the end of 2018.

He is optimistic that small-scale miners would be able to return to work by December.

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