SMALL SCALE MINERS BACKS GOV’T
THE Public Relation Officer of Small Scale Mining Association in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Francis Opoku in an interview said they have welcomed the decision of government to halt illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’ activities in the country.
But was quick to state that if a government three weeks ultimatum is to monitor for the covering up of the open pits dug by them is on the right direction and will support government in fighting the cancer/canker galamsey menace.
The directives which came from the minister are wake up call to those in engaging in these unscrupulous mining activities to make way for sanity in the mining sector. But, noted that dialogue is a key to sensitize and solicit solutions to the problem of illegal mining. For this reason, downwards approach by government to engage all stakeholders to deliberate on a common platform so as to unravel a viable solution to deal with it in order not to repeat what past governments’ did.
Mr. Francis Opoku contended that if the minister’s focus has to be centered on the river bodies and forest where the illegal miners pollute the rivers and destroying farm lands will intend saving the forest and rivers bodies. Added the illegal miners used local made dredges machines to mining and which cause the pollution. “The menace of illegal mining is indeed a huge and sensitive problem and needs the people and chiefs participation”. He stressed.
According to him small scale miners are legal and licensing entity that have observed the dangers of mining activities and will fully give their maximum support to curb the menace of illegal once. Mr. Opoku was of the view that it will cost you GH¢300,000 to cover up 25 acres of land for a period of three to four months. Hence, government should consider all these factors if government is really meant of solving the illegal mining activities, and make room for an ample time frame to diligently cover the pits before living the sites. If not, more harm would be done than good.
He averred that it would be helpful for both parties when the minister sees the core values in dialogue so that better approach will be conducted. He went on to look at the side of the situation and said the steps being taken by government will one way or the other displace many young Ghanaians’ from the workforce since they would not have any available job opportunities to engage. But task all to see the decision as a nation issue and treat it with a sense of humanity to benefit all.