Media Coalition Against Galamsey prescribes stiffer punishment for offenders

Mr Affail Monney

Mr Affail Monney

The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) has intensified the campaign  against illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey,” in the country, with a call for stiffer punishment for persons arrested for engaging in the act.
The coalition, which was set up last year, to drum home the need for authorities to stem the menace of of illegal mining, seems to have chalked lots of successes, however, the gains made so far, could be eroded unless people are punished for their actions.
Addressing a town hall meeting, here, over the weekend, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Roland Affail Monney, who is also a member of the coalition, said Operation Vanguard has been able to apprehend over 1,000 suspected illegal miners.
However, he said it was regrettable that only ten per cent of the total figure had so far been prosecuted as a result of delay on the part of prosecutors.
Mr. Monney observed that the activities of illegal miners were detrimental to the development of the country, as they were major cause of the destruction of the nation’s rich vegetation and water bodies.
He explained that as part of efforts of the MCAG to end illegal mining, it spearheaded the formation of the task force (Operation Vanguard), which had been at the forefront of the fight against galamsey, shaped opinions, influenced policies and set the agenda towards its fight since its inception about a year ago.
My Monney emphasized the need for cases related to galamsey to be fast-tracked, to ensure that perpetrators of the act were brought to book, to serve as a deterrent to others.
He added that the fight against galamsey could not be won by one institution, and urged the public, media and other stakeholders to support the coalition to nib the practice in the bud.
A senior research scientist at the Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. Anthony A. Duah, bemoaned that illegal mining had not only destroyed water bodies in the country, but that it had also led to the destruction of forest reserves.
According to him, this had further resulted in climate change and erratic rainfall pattern, the country was currently facing, which had dire consequences on the lives of the people.
Dr. Duah indicated that though a lot of progress had been made in the fight against galamsey, much needed to be done, and called on the government to put in stringent measures to sustain the gains made so far.


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