Twi News

Galamsey menace: Akufo-Addo 'storms' Manhyia to meet National House of Chiefs, MMDCEs

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Wed, 5 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today Wednesday, October 5 meet with the National House of Chiefs and various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) over the illegal small-scale mining, galamsey, menace.

The meeting will take place at Manhyia, in the Ashanti Regional capital. It is expected that the meeting will see the various stakeholders proffer solutions on how to deal with the galamsey menace which has become very topical in recent weeks due to the polluted nature of water bodies and general environmental degradation.

Many civil society organizations have expressed concerns over the heavy pollution of water bodies which has compelled the Ghana Water Company Limited to threaten to shut down operations in some mining communities.

Pressure group, Occupy Ghana, has urged President Akufo-Addo to declare a state of emergency in mining areas and to recommit to the fight against the illegal activity.

The President, it will be recalled placed his presidency on the line in 2017 over the galamsey menace. However, many hold the view that the fight has not been a success as a result of the state of water bodies as well as the face that some top officials have been found complicit in the fight.

Nana Akufo-Addo opines that he paid a political price for his fight as he lost votes and in some cases, NPP lawmakers also lost their seats in mining areas in the 2020 elections.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has had cause to speak on the matter when US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, paid a courtesy call on him.

He wondered why the country has failed to stop the menace of ‘galamsey’ even after the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had put his political career on the line to stop it.

Asantehene also questioned why the security apparatus in these 'galamsey' areas and the taskforce set up by the government have failed to stop the menace.

He intimated that small-scale mining was something that had been done for serveral years but never to the detriment of the environment.

“It has gotten to a point where people are now using equipment and all that. They do not care about the environment.

“But the question is who is in control of the security around the area. From the district level to the highest level. We are all talking about 'galamsey'. The government set up this military cum police to stop galamsey. Why have we not been able to stop it? Why?” he asked.

The revered king further absolved traditional authorities from blame over the menace stating that the political class ought to rather be blamed.


But speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources (FRNR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor insisted that traditional authorities as well local assembly members were complicit in the matter.

“I can say without a shred of equivocation no one can bring a chain saw to harvest rosewood in the forest or an excavator to mine in the bush, to work on river bodies in the community without the knowledge or passive approval somehow of the chief, elders, the assemblymen, opinion leaders and local authorities in the community,” he stated.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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