Is the fight against galamsey an intensive one or just a camouflage?
Illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, has become a cancer that is eating away our land and resources. Water bodies are being polluted, and lands, destroyed.
It seems the damaging effects of the menace is being overlooked. Huge revenues are being lost due to galamsey. In February this year, The Ghana Cocoa Board( COCOBOD) says it has lost GH¢ 4.8 billion worth of investment in 35 hectares of cocoa farms to illegal mining.
In 2017, His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo vowed to put his Presidency on the line to fight galamsey. After 5 years, the situation is worse than it was five years ago when he made that bold statement.
A deputy Minister of Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, speaking on 3fm in October 2022, stated that there has been an increase in kidney and liver diseases especially in mining areas due to galamsey. The President himself said the cost of treating water has risen from Gh¢7,000 per day to Gh¢80,000.
Allegations have been heightening about the involvement of high ranking government officials and appointees in illegal mining. There have, however, been no probes into these allegations and even if there is, there are no prosecutions to deter other perpetrators from the act.
Government seems to turn deaf ears to these allegations even though it has vowed to leave no stone unturned in fighting the menace.
Making a trend in news headlines is a recent allegation by a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. Professor Frimpong Boateng has called out names of some top government officials involved in galamsey. He has stated that,
“Throughout our struggle with illegalities in the small mining sector, what baffled me was the total disregard of the President’s commitment to protecting the environment.”
He further claimed that his knowledge of these government officials and their involvement in the menace resulted to his ousting from the ministry to avoid further probes from him.
Though the President has, in response, instructed the Police Service to commence investigations into the allegations of the renowned Professor of Surgery, the question that stands unanswered is,
will the narrative be changed and these pepertrators held accountable or it is just one of those instances where it will be swept under the carpet?