Small-scale miners now vigilantes, robbers - Adjei Sarfo
The convener for Youth Empowerment Summit, Mr Clement Adjei Sarfo, has said government's temporal ban on small-scale mining activities has brought hardship to countless number of Ghanaians whose livelihood depended solely on the sector directly or indirectly.
According to him, job losses suffered by the Small-scale miners due to the ban has worsened crime rate as most illegal miners are allegedly resorting to criminal activities, including vigilantism and armed robbery for survival.
Speaking to the media on Friday, November 17, 2017 he expressed the view that the ban does not hold an ideal solution needed to combat the hazards caused by small-scale mining activities considering the loose law enforcement on the part of authorities, connivance of security agencies in the activity, complicity of political, religious and traditional leaders in rising against the issue, lack of generational thinkers, absence of patriotism and nationalism among others.
He said government’s fight against illegal mining with or without the ban will be ad-hoc and lame.
He holds the view that the use of force by government to fight the menace will not work, but suggested for mutual commitment from all stakeholders including central government, parliament, local government authorities, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders and civil society organisations, professional bodies, NGOs, the media and most importantly all Ghanaians.
He said, government must regulate the importation and in due course criminalise the distribution and sale of toxic chemicals like mercury, lead and cadmium and heavy duty machinery like the excavators, Chang fans and dredgers among others.
He suggested that there should be a reforms regarding the licensing framework and regime by minerals commission, Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to make it easier for people to obtain license for operations so that their activities could be monitored, checked and regulated with ease.
He suggested to government that the use of Chang-fan, excavators, and dredgers in mining by the galamseyers along water bodies should be criminalised while calling for on alluvial mining should be banned.