Member Parliament for Prestea Huni-Valley constituency in the Western Region, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has stated that the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo is never “going to collapse small-scale mining” contrary to rumours churned out to the people of Prestea.
Addressing over six hundred people at a town hall meeting in Prestea last Monday, Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi, who doubles as the deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, explained that government was not against small scale mining, but rather against illegal mining that continues to destroy the environment.
The meeting was attended by the District Chief Executive for Prestea Huni Valley, Mr. Mozart K. Owuh, NPP Constituency Chairman for Prestea, Mr. Abiam Kuntu Danso, NPP Constituency Organiser, Francis Abeiku (Big Abbey), leadership of Small Scale Miners (SSM) as well as hundreds of galamsey operators.
It was aimed at briefing the Prestea community about the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), an alternative livelihood programme for illegal miners and concerns raised by the people in community about government’s clamp down on illegal mining.
Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi was of the view that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was not anti-mining, adding that “We are a government that believes in partnership with the private sector, but we are against those who are doing illicit mining.”
According to her, what the government was fighting against was those small-scale mining activities which were not conforming to the regulation framework that allows small scale mining to be done in an environmentally sustainable manner.
She noted that “Before I came here today, I had heard that my people in Prestea have parted ways with me. I have heard that you have said if I come to Prestea I cannot lift up my head. My people, is it true? The large crowd responded with all NO!.”
She pointed out that “All of us are aware that the clamp down on galamsey has brought slight distress in Prestea. But, the exercise is for the betterment of us and for generations yet unborn.”
“…again, we are warning those who are mining in the river bodies, those who are killing down the riverbed, these things will certainly not be allowed,” Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi stressed.
She reiterated that President Akufo-Addo was not against mining, but the manner in which galamsey was being done in the country.
The people of Prestea offered contributions and admonished the deputy minister to talk to the Operation Vanguard over “inhumane treatment.”
A resident of Prestea, Madam Amali, narrated an inhumane treatment meted out to galamseyers, citing what they did to her own brother at Nakaba about two weeks ago, where the Operation Vanguard were burning tyres into pits when her brother was under the pit mining.
Minerals & Mining Matters
…with Freeman Kporyekpor Awlesu