The government has every intention and the resolve to see the fight against illegal mining to the desired end, President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured. “Having begun it, we are not turning back until we make sure that our future is protected,” the President stressed during an address to the Ghanaian community in Belgium on Tuesday.
He was speaking ahead of the conduct of the meetings of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocates Group of Eminent Personalities. Ghana currently has a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and its degrading effects on the environment.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that, Ghana has long been a country of mineral deposits and the exploitation of minerals, hence, there was no vendetta against small-scale miners, some of who are aggrieved by the upsurge in attempts to protect the environment from the ills of mining. “We are not trying to ban mining in Ghana. We cannot do that.
The mineral deposits in our country are part of our heritage, and are meant to be exploited for the benefit of this and future generations,” he said. Mining will not compromise country’s future However, the President was adamant that his administration will not “allow the mining to compromise the future of our country, compromise our environment and destroy and pollute our water bodies. If we do that, we will wake up tomorrow with no country to live in.” “So we have identified illegal small-scale mining as the target for the fight against galamsey.
We want to make sure that not only do we stop it, but the people who are involved in it find alternative employment,” he added. President Akufo-Addo also noted that, there are proposals which are in the pipeline, which includes using former illegal miners to reclaim the lands, as well as offering them incentives to go into farming.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, is heading a Cabinet Committee which is identifying alternative sources of livelihood for persons involved in illegal mining activities.