A group calling itself Campaign Against Galamsey led by Michael Berfi Ampong has called on the government to arrest Mrs. Comfort Adobea Adjei, wife of Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) for her alleged involvement in galamsey activities in the Eastern Region.
According to the group, the activities of Mrs. Comfort Adobea Adjei and others have made illegal mining become the order of the day at Kyebi and its environs in the Eastern Region.
The group noted that galamsey activities have affected the earnings of the major mining companies who pay royalties to the chiefs of the land on which they operate as well as dividend to government.
Galamsey is thriving because they are largely unregulated and the activists operate outside the law. Galamsey operators and to some extent the few licensed ones cause serious environmental damages. In some areas, operators enter forest reserves, illegally cut down timber woods just to get access to gold under the forest land. Some of them de-vegetate and do not reclaim the trenches they dig. They use mercury for processing the alluvial gold which is very harmful to health. A lot of the galamsey operators engage in blasting and other activities which pose a nuisance. The long and short of it all is that the reckless activities of these illegal miners pollute the river beds as they easily release cyanide, a poisonous chemical into them Michael Berfi Ampong stated in a press statement released in Accra over the weekend
Most of these companies in pursuant of their social responsibility to the community in which they operate build schools, community centres, health facilities, drill boreholes and provide alternative livelihood to people in communities where their mines are located. The Mining Companies can help discourage the galamsey operators from their illegal activities by offering them jobs, soft loans and other forms of capital to start their own businesseshe added.
The Executive Director stressed that the security Agencies must regularly swoop on the galamsey pits to apprehend the perpetuators adding that all efforts must be put in to make galamsey an unattractive venture else it keeps destroying the energetic youth in the country.
It would be recalled that because of this galamsey activities a Koforidua Circuit Court A, Presided over by Hon. Barbara Tetteh Charway has begun hearing a fraud case between Mrs. Comfort Adjei (Complainant) and a small scale mining operator, Mr. Halid Amid (Accused).The accused, Halid Amid, is a small scale mining operator who resides at Kibi Zongo of the East Akim Municipal in the Eastern Region.
According to reports, in January 2013, the accused approached Mrs. Adjei through a friend and a witness in the case, Umaru Peregrino Braimah, and during interaction the accused introduced himself to the complainant as a small scale mining operator and that he would offer her gold at a good price if she is able to buy him an excavator.
According to the reports, in the process he demanded and collected a sum of GH˘15,000.00 from her on the pretext of using part of the money to hire an excavator to enable him provide her with 30 pounds of gold as the complainant prepares to buy him the machine.
Some weeks later and after the persistent calls by the complainant, the accused brought the 30 pounds of gold as agreed but demanded and collected cash of GH˘15,000.00 through the same witness Umaru on the pretext of securing her another 30 pounds.Halid however, failed to produce the 30 pounds of gold as promised after collecting the money.
All efforts made by the complainant to get her money back proved futile so she reported the case to the Kororidua Police Headquarters and Halid Amid was arrested.
The accused during police interrogation accepted his fault and said he could not provide the complainant with the 30 pounds of gold due to a mechanical fault on the excavator.
Source: The New Crusading Guide
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