General News Tue, 1 May 2018

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Media Coalition poised to stop galamsey activities

The Executive Director for the Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG), Mr Ken Ashigbey has tasked all media houses to play its watchdog role to totally halt the galamsey menace in certain parts of the country.

To this end, he entreated the media especially media personnel in the Western Region to give much prominence to issues of small-scale mining activities popularly called galamsey.

"Prominence to galamsey issues no longer engage media attention but that should remain a major concern to the Western Region", the Executive Director observed.

Mr. Ashigbey noted that in spite of the impact made by Operation Vanguard, the galamseyers seem to adopt a different strategy during the night to continue their nefarious mining activities.

He was addressing the Editors' Forum on the theme "Stop Galamsey: ways to ensure sustainable small-scale mining for the development of Ghana" at Takoradi in the Western Region.

Mr. Ashigbey appealed to politicians to equip Operation Vanguard with sophisticated equipment to deal with the galamsey issue once and for all and asked the media to expose those who collect bribe to perpetuate the galamsey canker.

He said a section of the media may also be implicated in the menace of galamsey and warned them to desist form the practice and allow the responsible theory of the press be their guide.

Mr. Ashigbey warned Ghanaians about the dire consequences of galamsey adding that posterity would never forgive the present generation if it continues to wallow in the degradation of the environment.

A Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr Anthony A. Duah who briefed the media on How to Sustain the Fight against Galamsey, called for a legal framework for small-scale mining to streamline their activities in the country.

He said the government would ensure that small-scale mining activities would follow due process to acquire an operational license.

Dr Duah said the government would continue to ensure affordable inputs for small-scale mining and craete alternative livelihoods for all small-scale miners.

He charged the District Planning Committees to step up their monitoring roles and flush out Chinses migrants form the galamsey sites.

The Project Manager of MCAG, Mr Klaus Von Backustein said the effects of galamsey on the environment was very degrading with the Agricultural sector sinking low in yield and productivity.

He lamented that cocoa farms have become graveyards due to the practice of small-scale mining activities.

Mr Backustein also appealed to the media to deepen the awareness on the ban of small-scale mining activities in water bodies.

As part of the awareness, the MCAG with the NCCE, CSIR and the Water Research Institute (WRI) has rolled out a programme to embark upon Town Hall meetings in the Regions.

He pointed out clearly that it was the ultimate goal of the coalition to jail all the culprits in the galamsey menace.

Source: Paul Yankey

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