In The Midst Of Covid-19; We Should Not Take Our Eyes off Galamsey

The issue of illegal mining popularly known as galamsey has remained a controversial if not sensitive subject that has refused to go away.

Successive governments, since 1992, have had to deal with canker that is a threat to our forest and water bodies.

President Akufo-Addo, on July 31, 2017,  launched Operation Vanguard group and charged it with stopping the activities of galamseyers in the three most galamsey ravaged regions in the country.

When the war on galamsey was declared, the president, who was bent on ending the canker, decided to give a clear picture of the scope and duration of the intervention.

He, therefore, set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) to implement the two-year road map.

Is being almost three years since the launch and yet there has been no tangible and visible progress in not only reducing the menace, but ending it once and for all.

Report upon report seems to suggest that, those who have been given the responsibility to fight it are themselves neck deep in the activities.

Indeed, the euphoria that greeted the setting up of the Committee, seems to have given way to sheer pessimism as the situation has moved from bad to worse.

Like a honey pot, it attracted all kinds of characters who saw in it a veritable means of having access to and cutting their own piece of the national cake with all the negative connotations that implies.

This newspaper is worried that, while the country and indeed the eyes and attention of the world is on the coronavirus pandemic, those unscrupulous individuals, who are bent on destroying our forest and water bodies are back in full swing.

There is a legal way of mining in this country, as an organization, we are at a loss as to why people of power; prefer to engage in illegal mining.

It can be argued, for instance, that it was the attitude of some of these politicians that emboldened others, including foreigners, especially Chinese nationals to engage in galamsey.

In view of the foregoing, we call on the government, civil society organizations and the media coalition against illegal mining not to take their eyes off the fight.

 

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