MP explains next NDC’s strategy to end galamsey

The next National Democratic Congress(NDC) government will tackle the illegal mining (galamsey) menace in a very friendly win- win situation without the loss of jobs and lives of Ghanaians, Hon Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Member of Parliament (MP)  for Juaboso in the Western Region, has said.

According to him, the current government style of fighting the menace is not the best, as it is only targeted at depriving the people without the program to reclaim the destroyed environment.

The government has launched a manhunt for the galamsey miners, under the “Operation Vanguard” of combined security men of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, and task force from the Forestry Commission.

The “Operation Vanguard£ has been roaming the mining communities, confiscating and burning equipment used for mining by the supposed illegal miners.

As a result, several of the youth who engaged on the galamsey as a means of survival have lost their jobs, while others lost lives through brutalities by the security operatives.

The degraded lands are also left unclaimed as pitches are not being refilled or covered as it should have been.

However, in an exclusive interview with The Republic, yesterday, Mr. Akandoh, who is also a former Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources under Mahama administration, said the next government of the NDC will manage the galamsey situation such that, both the government and the operators will be on the safer side.

He said, though he supports any action that will help to end illegal mining and restore the environment, the current  operation by the government will not achieve the expected results, because there is no plan of actions as to what happens after they succeed in chasing out the operators on site.

In his view, there should have been an action plan adequately to absorb the youth in other enterprises for survival, as well as make sure that, the degraded environment is reclaimed by refilling the sites, bemoaning that, the poor handling of the situation has led to substantial hike in unemployment among the youth.

Mr. Akandoh assured that the next NDC government would engage the galamesey operators in a win-win situation to reduce, if not end, the negative impact on the environment, while enlightening them to understand the future effect posed by their activities on the lands.

The Juaboso MP, who spoke to the paper on wide range of issues in his constituency, also took a swipe at the government for doing nothing to save cocoa being destroyed by diseases and other wild pests.

He said chemicals including insecticides and pesticides that used to be supplied to cocoa farmers have been stopped for no reason, while cocoa farmers suffer losses due to their farms being destroyed by disease.

The former Deputy Minister further blasted the government for selling fertilizer to farmers which were meant for free distribution.

He told the paper that, under the NDC government, farmers were receiving fertilizer supply free of charge and also had their bonus paid whenever there was good producer price.

“But today, they are being charged minimum of GHC80 for a  bag of  fertilizer for their cocoa farms, and farmers who own many acres of farms face financial challenges to get fertilizer.”

“In addition to that, government has denied them their bonus as against what they received over the years under the NDC government. This is making life unbearable for our farmers and youth unemployment kept rising under this government, “Mr. Akandoh stated.

On roads and health, he said the Juaboso roads are still in bad shape, with farmers finding it difficult to bring their produce to market centres, while residents face hardship due to poor management of the economy.

He cast doubts on any better living by Ghanaians under the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, stating that everything is gone bad to worse and Ghanaians are regretting the decision they took on December 7, 2016.



Source: Felix Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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