We’ll sustain fight against galamsey – President

President Akufo-Addo (middle) with members of coalition against galamsey

President Akufo-Addo (middle) with members of coalition against galamsey

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed the government’s determination to sustain the fight against illegal mining (popularly known as galamsey), despite the powerful vested interests behind the menace.

“We are not going to be naïve to think that there will not be attempts to fight back because there is a lot of money at stake. We are in this struggle, fighting powers of principalities.”

“But we are determined to fight to ensure that we bring this menace to a logical conclusion, to have a situation where we can reclaim the lands, these waters can be again, sources of good drinking water. We will continue until we reach that goal,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said this when the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, led by its convener, Ken Ashigbey, called on him at the Flagstaff House on Friday evening.

Among the delegation were the Co-convener of the group and Managing Director of New Times Corporation, Carol Annang, the Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, Afail Monnie, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), among others.

President Akufo-Addo said the government had received reports that there were foreign nationals from North America, Europe, Africa and Asia participating in illegal mining in the country

He said government officials had met the various diplomatic missions to seek the support of their governments in the fight against the canker.

He pointed out that a Standing Committee in Cabinet had been formed to come up with measures to address the problem and indicated that the committee would soon make public, the government’s plan to address galamsey.

President Akufo-Addo commended the group for supporting the government in the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, and urged it to continue the support till the menace was brought under control.

“I am very glad for having people like you as my allies. It is comforting for me,” he said noted that the media’s involvement in the fight would, to a large extent, mobilise the social conscience of people to see the dangers associated with galamsey.

The President said the nature of the galamsey menace required the collective effort of all stakeholders to ensure that the lands and water bodies were protected.

“If we do not make the effort collectively to say we will not allow this menace to continue, the land, environment and waters will not be the land we pass on to our successors,” he said.

He said the advocacy of the media group had made immeasurable impact and advised the members not to be discouraged by the difficulty of the task before them.

“Too often, campaigns like this peter out when difficulties emerge. We cannot allow this campaign to peter out. Once we have started, we need to see it to the end. This campaign is essential to the future of the country,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo indicated that the government had made plans to help people who engage in illegal mining to redirect their energies towards productive ventures which would give them sustained livelihood.

He said a major part of the government’s campaign against the menace was to show those engaged in it that there were alternative ways to make a living, aside galamsey.

The President expressed his readiness to be actively involved in the campaign against galamsey and be part of the Red Friday, to draw attention to the dangers associated with galamsey.

By Yaw Kyei


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