Speaker urges MPs to join ‘galamsey’ fight

Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye, has stressed the need for the Members of Parliament (MPs) to partner with those involved in advocacy against illicit small mining activities (galamsey) in the country..

According to him, “the call has become crucial as the House represents the entire population who would be affected by effect of illegal small scale mining activities”.

Prof.Oquaye noted that the fight against galamseywas a welcoming initiative considering the negative impact of the activities on the environment and water bodies.

He said it was  important that all stakeholders including the representatives of the people contribute to its success.

Prof. Oquaye made these calls when a six -member delegation from the Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) paid a courtesy call on him at the Parliament  Houseon Wednesday April 25, 2018.

The visit was aimed at having a joint working group to intensify the fight against illegal small scale mining activities in the country.

According to the speaker, the group was expected to work for the next one year.

“I will take steps to invite the leadership of Parliament to establish a group, in collaboration with Media Coalition Against Galamsey to intensify fight against galamsey,” Prof. Oquaye stressed.

To be known as the Parliament and Media Coalition Against Galamsey group, the Speaker of Parliament indicated that the group would be formalized at the next board meeting of the Parliament Service and would have three members each, including a woman, from both sides of the House.

He lamented that Ghana reputation as a producer of the finest cocoa beans “is under galamsey attack.”

He added that “we are polluting and destroying everything including water which is equivalent to life.”

Worried over this disturbing development, Prof. Oquaye further stressed the need to educate people on what the economic benefits are and its adverse effects on the country.

To this end, he charged the joint group to take that as a part of its mandate and core responsibilities when formally put together.

For his part, Convener of MCAG, Mr. Ken Ashigbey who led the delegation expressed the coalition appreciation to the Speaker for his movement to partner the anti-galamsey stakeholders to fight against illegal small scale menace.

He bemoaned the failure of justice delivery system to give stiffer punishment to people who had been found guilty of galamsey crimes.

According to him, there was no consistency in the workings of state regulatory agencies mandated by law to address environmental issues and asked that harmonization of the operation of the agencies were done.

He challenged journalists to put pressure on government in ensuring that the fight against galamsey was won.

He pointed out that the galamsey problem had reached its alarming  proportion because of the complete leadership failure and was hopeful that the one year period in which the group would work help reduce the menace.

Co-Convener of the Coalition, Ms. Carol Amangalsoon her part indicated the coalition’s commitment to name and shame people who are deeply involved  in this menace.

 

Story: Minerals & Mining Matters with Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU

Writer’s email: freeman.koryekpor@todaygh.com

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