We are tired! Small Scale Miners bark at govt

Members of Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) are up in arm against the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over the litany of unfulfilled promises of lifting the ban on small-scale mining.

According to them, “they are being starved to death with the continued existence of the ban, coupled with the hardship that is breaking their homes”.

They lamented that they have to survive, hence the need for t government to come out clear with concrete plans and policies to get them back to work.

They said ,“one-and-half year is quite enough for any serious government  to put pragmatic and concrete measures in place to salvage small scale mining industry that employs a sizeable portion of the youth and, thereby, help in reducing unemployment rate of the country”.

The Association averred that the ban, which was initially meant for six months had travelled over one year and had worsened their plight.

According to members of the Association, President Akufo-Addo was  yet to convince Ghanaians that it has what it takes  to deal with the ills of small scale mining, which necessitated the moratorium.

They noted that, the fight against illegal mining, which appeared an easy one to the government from the onset, had  proven to be a daunting one, putting to shame the military approach adopted as its antidote.

“We are getting tired of President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo and his Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu and Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng for always mounting several public platforms to announce that the government is planning to lift the embargo placed on small-scale mining activities in the country. The promises and assurances are repeated…always promises, repetition of promises.

“The promises and assurances are too much. Every now and then there is one promise or the other,” the aggrieved small scale miners told Today in an interview via telephone at the week end after a crunch meeting held at Konogo in the Ashanti Region.

The two- day meeting, according to the members of GNASSM, was was to deliberate  on the way  forward on how to demand an explanation from the government as to why it  has still failed  to lift the ban.

They told Today that the recommendations of the meeting will be sent to Ministries of  Lands and Natural Resources, and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations.

Mr. Gyamfi who is the Chairman of Ekomyeya Cooperative Small Scale Mining Centre (ECSSMC), a local licensed  gold mining company at Donkoto-Lineso, near Bibiani in the Western Region, said members of his outfit were  suffering in terms of finances “because they have not worked for almost  a year now”.

 

Minerals & Mining Page with Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU

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

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