Govt downplays galamsey demo threat

Government has said it will not succumb to pressure from agitating small scale miners to abandon the roadmap adopted in the fight against illegal mining.

The Concerned Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana  on Tuesday, June 5, 2018  planned  to stage a demonstration dubbed “Ku Me Preko” in Kumasi, on June 26, 2018 to protest against government’s refusal to lift the ban on Small Scale Mining, more than a year after its imposition.

The demonstration will witness hundreds of Small Scale Miners nationwide converge in the Ashanti regional capital.

According to the Association, it cannot endure the brunt of the ban which has broken homes, affected health and afflicted poverty and debt on its members.

“We cannot endure any longer, idling away precious manpower while our equipment gather dust and rust. Our concessions are being taken over by reptiles and illegal miners.

“Our bank accounts hitting red, our members going impotent and bankrupt, our homes breaking, and we becoming objects of public ridicule,” said President of the association, Richard Kojo Peprah.

But in a quick response the government said the planned demonstration was needless.

According to the Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister Barbara Oteng Gyasi the government was at the detail end of the actions that it had taken, and very soon  the ban will be lifted urging the miners to be patient.

She said illegal mining was  a huge problem the government was confronted with when it took over power with the small scale mining sector being overran by illegal miners and that “desperate situations demand desperate measures.”

Asked if the demonstration will change government’s posture towards the ban on small scale mining, Ms Oteng Gyasi said government will not kowtow.

Government, earlier last year imposed a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end the scourge of illegal mining and its related activities.

The ban was necessitated by the persistent destruction of the environment, particularly water bodies and forest reserves but the ban has been extended severally.

 

Story: News Desk

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