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Approach To Fighting Galamsey Wrong - Gold Exporters Tell Govt   
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Mr. Kwabena Asante Asare
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The Gold Exporters Association of Ghana have expressed worry about government's approach in dealing with the 'galamsey' menace.

According to them, they fully support government's quest to annihilate the activities of the illegal miners which is destroying the country's water bodies and natural reserve but the approach and methods employed are worrying.

Shortly after assuming power, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) declared a ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to fight the activities of illegal mining popularly called galamsey.

Galamsey has fouled the environment, polluted rivers and destroyed many farmlands.

The government hoped by the institution of a three-month ban and a constitution of an anti-galamsey taskforce, the activities of illegal mining will be reduced drastically.

The fight against illegal mining would have been better served if government engaged small-scale miners instead of banning them, a spokesperson for the small-scale miners in the Ashanti Region has suggested.

Protest was organized against the government’s temporary ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country, which they said was to end in August.

Speaking on Okay FM's 'Ade Akye Abia' programme, Chairman for the Association, Mr. Kwabena Asante Asare explained that for them, they fully support government in fighting the activities of illegal miners which has deprived so many Ghanaians of potable drinking water and livelihood but are asking government to rethink its approach.

"How can you fight illegal mining without involving the small scale miners who have acquired licenses and are operating legally, they know every activity of these illegal miners and can help the government by providing adequate information about the activities of the illegal miners," he explained.

He has therefore appealed to government to rewrite the whole plan developed to fighting the 'galamsey' menace and involve the industry players like the small scale miners who are operating legally to help them fight it.

Government has deployed a task force of 400 security personnel to carry out an operation to put an end to all forms of illegal mining activities, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in the country.

The operation dubbed: ‘Operation Vanguard’ is a presidential initiative which forms part of efforts by government to safeguard the environment and water bodies, and to protect life and properties from the activities of illegal miners.

It is made up of well-trained, experienced and highly motivated personnel drawn from the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air force and Ghana Police Service.

The initial deployment of personnel will operate in the three most-affected regions of the country namely, Ashanti, Eastern and the Western regions and stay in the illegal mining communities until the degraded lands are restored, and illegal mining activities totally eradicated.
Source: Isaac kwame Owusu/Peacefmonline.com/[email protected]

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