The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, has stated that illegal mining continues to boom in the country because of corruption.
According to the coalition, there are a number of instances where duty bearers accept bribes and fail to discharge their duties as expected of them thus giving room for the illegality to thrive.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the Ghana Anti-corruption coalition, Beauty Emefa Nartey, noted that galamsey will persist if corruption among authorities is not addressed.
She further blamed the issue on what she described as “systemic governance failures.”“The statistics being put out is very alarming and troubling. And as a coalition, we think that the galamsey menace depicts some systemic governance failures that need to be urgently addressed. The truth is, one cannot discount the contribution of corruption in fueling this illegality in Ghana. Clearly, you can agree with me that corruption is at the heart of this impunity. Some of the practices such as bribery and extortion are deeply ingrained in this illegal activity.”
“For instance, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition with Ghana Integrity Initiative and Send Ghana, recently carried out some actual experiences of citizens on corruption and most of the citizens who have engaged with these authorities had paid bribe. And reasons for paying bribe include the need to avoid problems with the authorities; which means that some of these authorities are taking money from citizens so that they turn a blind eye to what they need to do and that is why we think that we need to stop it now.”
She also commended Citi FM for launching a campaign against galamsey dubbed “#StopGalamseyNow.”
#StopGalamseyNow is a campaign that calls on government to undertake five steps to clamp down on the menace which is destroying the county’s land and water resources, and may see Ghana resorting to the importation of clean water in the next two decades.
“I also agree that it is a collaborative work and that is why I am appealing to every Ghanaian to join in this. The statistics are alarming; we need to stop galamsey now. We need to stop the impunity. We need to ensure that Ghana is brought back to what it is,” the spokesperson of the coalition added.
Madam Nartey also called on the security agencies to enforce the necessary laws in the country to stop galamsey.
“We need to enforce the laws. We have laws guiding all these mining menace, why are the authorities not applying the laws. We think that these issues have to be immediately addressed to save mother Ghana,” she added.
There has been intense pressure on government to deal with the galamsey menace following reports that Ghana may soon import water if nothing is done.
Currently, some water treatment plants have been shut down over activities of illegal miners, which have rendered water bodies from which the plants harvest water for processing useless.
The galamsey menace has also led to the destruction of many farmlands, which serve as livelihood for a number of families.