General News of Sunday, 26 January 2020
President Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s fight against illegal mining is having an impact on climate change.
The President made the comments when addressing a press conference on the sideline of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
He outlined some steps adopted by his government in the fight, saying the issues of climate change must be dealt with seriously.
“The most fundamental thing that we have done is to fuse the seventeen SDGs including their teachings on climate change, and the preservation of our ocean into our national budget. For two years running our national budget has reflected our commitment to the implementation of the SDGs”.
“So all through the governmental system, right from the local to the national level, those commitments form part of the agenda of government and they include of course the efforts of climate change. We have also taken on a big task of re-afforestation, the deforestation that has taken place in years past has led to great problems with the climate, and we have also instituted a vigorous program of fighting illegal mining in the country so that we can have responsible mining in Ghana which once again is having a big impact on climate change”.
The government last year launched a campaign against illegal mining popularly known as ‘Galamsey’ in Ghana.
This made President Akufo-Addo assent to the new illegal mining law which pegs sentences for offenders between 15 to 25 years.
Illegal mining can be a subsistence activity, as is the case with artisanal mining, or it can belong to large-scale organized crime, spearheaded by illegal mining syndicates.
Over the years, Ghana has seen an influx of Chinese illegal miners who engage in all sorts of crimes.
The most notable among them was Aisha Huang who was deported after engaging in illegal mining for years in Ghana.