…and Nana Addo’s galamsey fight continues.
Reports from the Flag Staff House reveal that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left Accra, Ghana today [Tuesday, 2nd May], on a trip to three West African countries, namely – Togo, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon. The visit according to the presidency, borders on the ongoing fight against illegal mining in Ghana.
Nana Akufo-Addo headed first to Togo where he will hold talks with the country’s President, Faure Gnassingbé on the pollution of water bodies by the activities of illegal mining. From Togo, the President will head to Ivory Coast, and from there to Cameroon; all aimed at holding talks with the countries’ presidents on the way forward in the fight against illegal mining in Ghana.
Nana Addo’s trip to these African countries comes at the heels of a visit by an Ivorian delegation to the president to show their concern over the menace of illegal mining in his country.
Although various past governments had made efforts to curb illegal mining in Ghana, the present Nana Addo-led administration appears to be taking the matter more seriously, with meaningful steps towards a clampdown on the environmentally hazardous occupation. Among some of the significant steps being taken in Nana Addo’s galamsey fight are the involvement of armed forces involvement in nabbing illegal miners, plans to use of drones and tracking devices to detect miners, suspension of small scale mining licence, reclamation of degraded lands, and the gold mining sector restructuring plan.
Presently, the galamsey menace has gotten to the point where a great percentage of Ghana’s water bodies are polluted and destroyed, thereby leading to the shutdown of various water plants. The Ghana Water Company and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have warned that Ghana might soon start importing portable water from neighboring countries if nothing is done to stop illegal mining.
Ghanaians are also being enlightened on these dire environmental consequences of illegal mining, so as to arouse them to join in the fight. The media is not left out as they have also joined in the massive condemnation of the abusive business; with Citi Fm’s StopGalamseyNow campaign making much impact.
The galamsey fight has however, witnessed series of setbacks such as the hiccups with the Chinese, as well as threats from small scale miners to vote out the NPP come 2020. But the President has made it clear that no amount of threat will deter him from fighting against illegal mining which is practically jeopardizing the health of the environment and Ghanaians at large. His present trip to these West African countries, even makes his determination clearer.
It is hoped that the government this time around, will succeed in the fight, while providing better means of mining, as well as other acceptable job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth who are prone to engaging in illegal businesses such as galamsey.