16
Menu
News

Akufo-Addo's war on galamsey has had an impact - Okyenhene

Changfans Galamsey File photo

Mon, 20 Jun 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's war on galamsey has made an impact, especially in the Eastern region.

According to him, the Birim river now stays clear.

Speaking on Asaase radio's 'Sunday Night' show, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin said, "Yes, it has [had an impact] and I know that for sure. The Birim river now stays clear around here so, I know it has some positive impact."

He bemoaned that, sometimes he feels very sad to the point that he shed tears when he hears people lying against him that he is engaged in galamsey.

He noted that, he possesses all the land in the Eastern region, therefore, there is no point in hiding himself and stealing the mineral resources on the land he owns.

“At one time in my relationship with the then Chief of Defence Staff, I begged him. I said it [galamsey] was getting out of hand and we should probably organise some of the military people to come here [Kyebi]. They did and even a week the whole thing has been shut down. A week later they [the politicians] called them [military] and said ‘don’t you know it’s an election year?

“So I’ve shed tears of anger and frustration where I sit about this and to the point that somebody will even say that I was engaged in galamsey. My answer to them is, I own all the lands, if I want to do galamsey, why would I want to go and steal it? I would go to the Minerals Commission and say I’m going to my land just give me the license.

“So the pain I shed was people not speaking the truth; lying about it all over,” Okyenhene observed.

He added, “The point now is, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had the courage to speak to it and diminish the issues of galamsey in this country. He may have lost some votes but you know what, it’s more protection of voters than votes."

Background

When he took over the reins of power, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo vowed to clamp down on illegal mining activities in the country.

He put his Presidency on the line by pledging to fight the menace head-on, even if it meant losing the next election.

Subsequently, the government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, declared relentless war on galamsey.

In 2017, the government took the fight against illegal mining to a higher level by banning all forms of small-scale mining in the country for almost two years until it was lifted on December 14, 2018.

With the overwhelming support of the media, key stakeholders were rallied to take the war to the galamsey operators on all fronts.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining (IMCIM) was also set up, comprising relevant ministries such as Lands and Natural Resources; Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI); Local Government and Rural Development; Defence; and the Interior, to help bring sanity to the small-scale mining sector.

This was followed by the deployment of Operation Vanguard, a joint police-military task force, into mining communities to halt illegal mining activities.

Hundreds of excavators, boats for dredging and washing the ore, known as changfan machines, and other equipment were seized by Operation Vanguard at mining sites.

After the lifting of the ban, there was a resurgence in galamsey activities in many parts of the country.

The galamstop drones and mining guards were also deployed to support the crackdown on the menace.

Fight not over

When he delivered a message on the state of the nation on January 6, 2021, prior to the dissolution of the Seventh Parliament, President Akufo-Addo called for an "open and dispassionate conversation" about galamsey and its future.

He observed that the devastating nature of illegal mining required a non-partisan conversation and broader stakeholder engagement on how to come out of the woods.

"Should we allow or should we not allow galamsey, the illegal mining that leads to the pollution of our water bodies and the devastation of our landscape? As I have said often, the Almighty has blessed us with considerable deposits of precious minerals, there would always be mining in Ghana,” he observed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
Related Articles: