Tropenbos Ghana welcomes fight against illegal gold miners

A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), TROPENBOS Ghana, has welcomed the bold decision by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to halt the negative impact of illegal gold mining activities in the country.

But, the company was quick to express fear that “that might not be adequate in halting the negative impacts of illegal gold mining activities.

Speaking in an interview with Today, Director of Tropenbos Ghana, Mr. K.S. Nketiah, stressed that it was possible that some so-called legal gold miners may be having very serious negative impacts.

These negative impacts of activities of illegal gold miners, according to him, do not only pollute water bodies, but also have adverse effect on people’s livelihood, health and the environment.

Mr. Nketiah noted that logging, unsustainable sourcing of agro-commodities and irresponsible gold mining were some of the major factors that affect the security of international public good.

The practices, according to him, have their roots in inappropriate policies, weak law enforcement and complicity of some of the very people who were supposed to be managing the country’s natural resources.

In recent times, he pointed out that the spotlight has been on illegal gold mining. This, he said, in many cases has been confused with small scale mining.

He indicated that the phenomena of irresponsible and illegal gold mining activities were not new, adding that people have perpetuated these over several years.

According to Mr. Nketiah, there have been several attempts by successive governments to address the challenge of illegal gold mining activities.

“Yet, for diverse reasons, we have not been too successful as a country,” he said.

“With the renewed effort and the increasing public outcry, particularly the unrelenting campaign by the media and the demonstrated commitment of government to tackle the issue of illegal gold mining head-on, Tropenbos Ghana and its partners think that we need a proper definition of the suitable and cost-effective” [way of dealing with illegal gold mining activities], Mr. Nketiah said.

 

Minerals & Mining Matters

…with Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu

 

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