13:57, 13.Apr 2017
The fight against illicit small-scale mining (galamsey) by the Akufo-Addo-led government is a good move that will restore the environment to its proper state, Edward Asiedu Bekoe, leader of the Concerned Youth of Kyebi, has said.
According to him, since the ultimatum by Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu for small-scale mining across the country to cease as he bids to end the menace, there have been some signs that the environment is healing. He said most of the pits dug up by galamseyers have been covered by these miners.
Mr Bekoe noted that although the fiat had taken most of them out of job in the interim, the degraded environment was recovering.
He told Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday April 19: “If you look at how the environment has been transformed within the past few days since the ultimatum was given for us to stop the mining, you will realise that if these activities are properly regulated, the environment would be protected.
“We are embarking on a reclamation exercise as part of efforts to support the president in fixing the mess that has resulted following the small-scale mining. But in the future, we want proper regulation for small-scale mining.”
Meanwhile, about 400 earth-moving equipment have been voluntarily withdrawn from various illegal small-scale mining sites across the country, the minister has revealed.
He told Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM’s breakfast show on Wednesday 19 April that the heavy equipment are, however, yet to be handed over to the Ministry.
“We have had some reports that are quite encouraging, about voluntary withdrawal of some of the earth-moving equipment at the sites,” he said.
Mr Amewu, whose 21-day ultimatum to the galamseyers to pack out ends this week, said: “I expect that at the end of today, there will be total withdrawal.
“What will follow,” he said, “is that… of course some element of force will need to be applied.”
According to him, “it is clear that the lawlessness can no longer continue. It’s total lawlessness, it has nothing to do with the mining regulatory framework, and, if, of course its lawlessness, we need to apply the law.”
Mr Amewu is currently undertaking a review tour of all galamsey sites in the country in the Eastern, Western and Central Regions, after which he will take a definitive decision about the next line of action.