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The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana Andrews Barnes while speaking on Accra based radio station Class FM has hailed the Akufo-Addo for the firm fight against illegal mining activities in the country.
Mr Barnes has hailed the Lands and Natural Resource Minister Hon. John Peter Amewu for the intelligent manner in which he is handling the issues of illegal mining popularly referred to locally as galamsey, although indicating that the illegal activity is a major challenge to the country.
The High Commissioner said, “Galamsey is a huge one for Ghana and I compliment government for its work on that and the Minister for Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, who has done a fantastic job on that".
Speaking on, Mr Barnes indicated that, the water bodies in the country which was under threat by the activities has come under control due to the ban and applauded the government for the efforts.
He said, “They’ve stopped the water dredging that was destroying the water ways, [seized] a large number of the heavy diggers that were supposedly doing small-scale mining that was contributing so much to land degradation, damaging the cocoa farms, and, so, I think there should be a lot of credit given to the government for the way they’ve tackled the galamsey issue.”
He however indicated that, the small-scale miners who also contribute to the country's economy cannot be ignored due to the fact that they also provide job opportunities to the people who work in the organisations.
“The small-scale miners, the legitimate ones, play a very important role in Ghana’s economy and we’ve been working with the association of small-scale miners to help them to promote their organisation and their interest and livelihoods. 8,000 people are directly employed by small-scale miners and people’s jobs cannot be ignored, and, so, any solution to the galamsey problem, they have to work with the small-scale miners” he noted.
Speaking on the government’s initiative on the five-year $200million Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), which is aimed at sanitising the small-scale mining landscape through a three-prong approach, including the provision of laws, enforcement of those laws, and the use of technology to ensure transparency and sustainable mining, Mr Barnes commented saying that the idea will go a long a long way to address the issues of galamsey.
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