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Should the excavators of illegal miners be burnt down?

Burnt Excavators According to the writer, gov't must remain focused and fight the war against illegal mining

Tue, 29 Jun 2021 Source: Osei Tutu

Since the days of ex-president John Mahama, the fight against small-scale illegal mining, also known as galamsey, has been fought with vigor, albeit unsuccessfully.

In the first term of President Akufo-Addo's administration, it was as if the fight against galamsey was going to be won. The enthusiasm and the passion of the then minister of natural resources, Hon John Peter Amewu, gave us hope that galamsey was going to be a thing of the past.

However, by a twist of event, Honourable Amewu was reshuffled to the Ministry of Energy and the fight against galamsey has been sluggish since then.

Since Nana Akufo-Addo's swearing-in for his second term of office, the fight against galamsey has been renewed with vigor.

One outstanding feature in this new fight is the burning of excavators of the illegal miners in an operation dubbed, 'Operation Halt'

Even though this approach appears to be the kick that is going to incapacitate the miners, it looks a bit unconventional and people have started criticizing it. Some even think the government is using illegality to fight illegality.

But the minister of lands and natural resources, Hon. Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has justified the approach, stating that if the excavators are left undamaged, they will somehow find their way back to the mining sites.

The question is should the excavators of the illegal miners be burnt down? My answer is yes, the excavators must be burnt down.

I agree perfectly with the sector minister that if the excavators are not destroyed, they will find their way back to the mining sites to continue the destruction of the environment.

Indeed that is the main reason why the fight against illegal mining has not been successful over the years. Something drastic needs to be done to solve the problem once and for all.

The argument that the government is using illegality to fight illegality is not convincing enough. In any case, the law courts are there to test the case as those arguing this way have been told.

The government must remain focused and fight the war against illegal mining thoroughly to save the environment. It has the support of a large section of the population.

Columnist: Osei Tutu
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