MEMBERS of Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners GNASSM) are still putting pressure on the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to make public the actual date of ending its moratorium on all activities of small scale mining in the country.
According to the distraught miners, from the look of the things they have come to the realisation that the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration did not have a clear roadmark or policy to effectively address the challenges facing small scale mining activities before it went ahead to impose ban the ban.
“We are shock to hear from the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who is currently moving from community to community in mining areas, urging us that we should rather adopt sustainable mining methods to supplement government’s efforts to clamp down on our illegal mining activities, the members of the association told Today.
However, the statement of the minister which did not go down well with the miners saw them launch a scathing attack on government for ‘deceiving’ them.
The government through Prof. Frimpong-Boateng promised members of GNASSM that the government has scheduled between July and August 2017 to train small scale miners on sustainable mining methods which would involve batches of miners and journalists who would be hosted at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa.Professor Frimpong-Boateng who announced the training programme somewhere in March 2017 at a press conference disclosed that the government has provided an initial fund of GH¢500,000 to kick-start the training.
He said a total of 50 small scale miners including mine owners, miners and 25 journalists would constitute the first batch of the close to 1,000 targeted miners and journalists to be trained.
The minister said the miners would be trained on how to “extract gold without using mercury” since the use of mercury was going to be banned in the country in fulfillment of the Minnesota Convention that Ghana had signed onto.
Journalists, who have played critical role in the campaign against illegal mining, according to him, would also be trained to appreciate the issues of mining and help educate the public and communities on the need to preserve the environment.
But the livid miners have taken a swipe at government for its failure to meet its deadline of organising the training promgramme for members of GNASSM.
According to the miners, they are peeved because almost eight-and-a-half months down the lane since the placing of the ban, government has woefully failed to implement the promise it made to small scale miners.
They, therefore, called on the government to consider restoring licenced small-scale miners affected by the moratorium back to their work since the six-month ban period had elapsed.
Minerals & Mining Matters
…with Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu