President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment to solving illegal mining menace in the country with comprehensive approach.According to the President,the “piecemeal” approach by previous governments has not yielded the needed results in dealing with the destructive activities of illegal miners known as ‘galamseyers’ .
He said,a policy document to combat the menace will soon be outdoored to deal with the canker once for all “We need a comprehensive policy which may even involve legislation,” .The President said.
The President ,is optimistic ,the comprehensive Policy document which will be outdoored in the coming days would help fix the menace.
He said this on Saturday when speaking to journalists in Kumasi as part of his tour in the region.
The destruction of the natural environment in Ghana by illegal miners has almost reached lethal threshold which requires urgent and aggressive action by government.
Apart from degradation of arable lands,destruction of farms and other economic and health effects,illegal miming in Ghana has resulted in heavy metal pollution of major river bodies in Ghana compelling most water treatment plants to shut down due to extremely high turbidity levels of raw water from the affected rivers.
The Tano River in the Brong Ahafo Region has dried up for the first time in 40 years, a development that has been blamed on illegal miners. The Ankobrah River in the Western Region and Brim River in the Eastern have been muddied due to persistent mining in them.
Researchers have warned,Ghana may import water from 2030 should the current rate of water pollution continue unabated .
Successive governments have failed to stop the operation of illegal miners in the country due to lack of Political will to withstand the influential personalities directly and indirectly involved in the act.
The weakness in enforcement of the law, has created opportunities for foreigners to including Chinese to invade the country with sophisticated mining equipment by the help of their Ghanaian counterparts ,to mine in directly in rivers.
Even though some Chinese have been arrested and deported ,several others are hiding in the bushes with their Ghanaian accomplices engaging in illegal alluvial mining .
Many civil societies, the media, Environmentalists ,Ghana Agricultural Workers Union,and majority of Ghanaians mostly farmers have intensified calls for urgent government actions to end the menace .
But the President said considering the widespread nature of galamsey as well as the “forces and interests” involved, there will be the need for a holistic approach to the phenomenon.
“I don’t think we are going to be able to deal with it effectively by piecemeal measure,” he warned.
He said “sooner rather than later” government’s policy to dealing with the menace would be made public.
“It is going to be comprehensive, with the objective of dealing with this phenomenon once and for all in our country.”