Some aggrieved artisanal miners in the Ashanti Region have petitioned the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, over government’s decision to halt illegal mining, popularly known as ‘Galamsey,’ across the length and breadth of the country.
At an emergency meeting held at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) complex in Kumasi last Tuesday, an executive member of the group, Mr. Frank Osei, said the issues of illegal mining had been blown out of proportion.
He therefore accused the government of giving the miners a bad name.
“We have been traumatized by, and it is not good for a government that wants to solve the escalating unemployment problem in the country,” he bemoaned.
The meeting by the group was to discuss issues affecting their operations, with the major one being government’s clampdown on illegal miners.
Also on the agenda was an arrangement of a meeting with the Asantehene to petition him on the fight against illegal mining.
“We are going to meet Otumfuo and petition him so he can intervene on our plight, we want the government to understand that we are ready to cooperate, so that the environment is protected,” Mr. Osei indicated.
Enormity of destruction caused by illegal mining on the environment across the country has triggered responses from government and civil society groups to end the canker.
Almost all of Ghana’s rivers and water bodies have been polluted by the activities of galamsey, as well as destruction of forest covers and farmlands.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu, gave a three-week ultimatum to all illegal miners to stop their activities or be prepared to face the full rigours of the law.
The government, he said, was also coming up with a well-rehearsed strategy to implement drastic punitive measures to ensure that all people who connived to fund the activities of the illegal miners were dealt with.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Nsiah Yeboah, Kumasi