Business News of 2014-04-08

Mahama has failed to tackle galamsey menace - ASMAN

The Artisanal & Small Scale Mining Africa-Network (ASMAN) says president John Mahama's statement describing Kyebi as the ‘headquarters’ of galamsey indicates government failure in finding lasting solution to illegal mining in the country.
According to ASMAN, the statement inherently confirms the widely held belief that militarization through the use of task-force to stop illegal mining (galamsey) in the country is not the best approach.
The president, while commissioning a water project for the people of Kyebi as part of his working tour of the Eastern Region a couple of weeks back, tagged the area as "headquarters of galamsey", a local term giving to illegal mining.
President Mahama, who expressed shock at what he saw when he flew to Kyebi from the Affram Plains district said the activities of the illegal miners were an impediment to efforts to protect water bodies.
‘’I flew all the way to this place and when you monitor the extent of damage caused to the land and our water, you will feel sorry for yourselves.’’
But a release signed by Executive Director of ASMAN, Nii Adjetey-Kofi Mensah said: "Even most unfortunate is the political twist given to the matter, which is of utmost importance to the socio-economic development of this country".
"Obviously, the regulatory agencies and the key stakeholders would admit that Kyebiman was not a galamsey headquarters prior to the establishment of the Task Force; so how come about a year after the task force operations, galamsey has seemingly spilled out of control, not only in the Eastern Region but Western, Ashanti and other mining areas of the country as well.
"That, despite the deportation of most foreigners engaged in the illegal mining menace, most of their seized equipment, which were not properly secured, has been left in the hands of some MMDCEs and other opinion leaders, who are allegedly using them to perpetuate the same illegality".
The statement therefore suggests the involvement of the Small Scale Mining Committees, as stipulated in Section 92 of the Minerals and Mining Act 703, 2006, is to effectively monitor and assist the reclamation project at the grassroot level.
"For us in ASMAN, the menace of galamsey is a national challenge, nonetheless it requires both national and grassroots approach in dealing with it", the statement noted.