Religious leaders in the country have called for the immediate ban on small-scale mining to prevent degradation and pollution of the environment.
The leaders represent the Christian Council of Ghana; Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference; Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council; Office of the National Chief Imam; Almadiyya Muslim Mission; Ghana, National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches; Council for Independent Churches; and Para-Church Organisations.
We must first of all commend these leaders and their respective organisations for shelving their respective religious perspectives and being of one mind towards helping to save the country from the harmful acts by galamseyers.
Before this call, some of the leaders had visited certain galamsey sites to witness the devastation of the illegal activity after which they offered prayers to God to intervene but they were ridiculed by some people, especially on social media platforms.
We condemn such ridicule for as the religious leaders as they are, they cannot do anything without first asking for strength from the Almighty God, the God who is interested in the affairs of men, and they could only do so through prayers.
We are happy that as expected by some of us, the clergymen have followed their prayers with action.
Their call for the immediate ban on small-scale mining is appropriate, considering their explanation that many individuals, groups or companies hide behind their licensing to do legal small-scale mining to wreak havoc on the environment.
We want to remind the religious leaders that the individuals, the groups and those behind the companies do belong to one religious sect or another.
This means even if such persons have not identified themselves to the leaders, nothing changes the fact that the galamseyers are mostly Christians and Muslims.
The Ghanaian Times therefore wishes to appeal to the clergymen to begin now to do serious and sustained campaign from the pulpit.
They should research the Bible and the Quran and craft messages that can appeal to the conscience of the galamseyers and particularly those who fund the illegal mining or protect the galamseyers.
We know, for instance, that the Bible says in Numbers 35: 33 that we should not pollute the land on which we live, whereas Deuteronomy 20:29 advises that even when nations are warring against each other, they should not destroy the trees on the land of the defeated, but rather preserve them and eat from them.
The clergymen should let their members know that even though God expects humans to work and be successful, He only regards success achieved in line with His word, according to Joshua 1:8 (KJV), which stresses good success.
Like all other Christians and Muslims involved in one unacceptable economic activity or another, the galamseyers must be made aware, if they do not already know, that their harmful activities constitute unrighteousness and all unrighteousness is sin (1ohn 5:17).
The Ghanaian Times knows that preaching is not law but if nothing at all, every religious adherent, Christian or Muslim especially, knows that there is a Judgement Day on which God or Allah will punish all those who disobeyed His word in their lifetime.
Our position does not dismiss the call to ban all small-scale mining, but we know that since there is a law legitimising that activity in some instances, it can only take another law to ban it, but until then the campaign from the pulpit can hold sway.