President Nana Akufo-Addo says the solution to dealing with the destructive activities of illegal miners known as ‘galamseyers’ has to be comprehensive.
He told journalists in Kumasi Saturday that the “piecemeal” approach that has characterised efforts to end the menace has not been effective.
“We need a comprehensive policy which may even involve legislation,” he said in a serious tone.
He said his government is working on such a document which would be outdoored in the coming days.
Experts have warned
Ghana is reeling from the effects of illegal mining and weak regulation in the mining sector. These miners adopt destructive strategies to extract gold from the bellies of the earth including the use of cyanides which pollutes nearby water bodies.
The Tano River in the Brong Ahafo Region has dried up for the first time in 40 years, a development that has been blamed on illegal miners. The Ankobrah River in the Western Region and Brim River in the Eastern region have been muddied due to persistent mining in them.
Officials of the Ghana Water Company have served notice that the country might import water from its neighbours by 2020 if something is not done about it.
Outraged by the repeated reports of destructive activities of illegal miners, the Lands and Forestry Minister, John Peter Amewu has launched a campaign to bring the situation under control.
Lands and Forestry Minister, John Peter Amewu
He met the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Sun Baohong to discuss with her some effective ways of discouraging her people from joining the illegal activities.
But the President said considering the widespread nature of galamsey as well as the “forces and interests” involved, there will be the need for a holistic approach to the phenomenon.
“I don’t think we are going to be able to deal with it effectively by piecemeal measure,” he warned.
He said “sooner rather than later” government’s policy to dealing with the menace would be made public.
“It is going to be comprehensive, with the objective of dealing with this phenomenon once and for all in our country.”