Editorial

Chiefs, politicians and security personnel can stop galamsey

Illegal mining has been a menace in the country because of its attendant ills like environmental degradation, destruction of farmlands and farms, for that matter livelihoods, and even now the devastation of settlements believed to have gold under houses.

Even though such ills are costly, the loss of precious lives is priceless and worst of them all.

There are countless reports of such losses recorded by the media and the country’s National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Just yesterday, seven personsout of about 30 lost their lives after an illegal mining (galamsey) pit in which they were working at KorleTeye (Takoroso site) in the Birim North in the Eastern Region caved in; five others were injured others were believed to be still trapped under the debris.

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It is sad to learn that those who are engaged in galamsey are mostly the youth, women, able-bodied men and even children.

These are people who hear of the deaths involved in their endeavor yet they are unperturbed as they persist in it.

They are also aware of the fight against their activity yet they care less about it.

What is unfortunate about the whole menace is that a good number of foreigners, especially from China and the country’s neighbouring countries, are deeply involved in this menace that has serious negative consequences for the health of the people and the country’s development.

Why should galamsey thrive in a country where its devastation is glaring to everyone?

For the foreigners, they are obviously in to seek greener pastures by exploiting the country’s resources, but what about the indigenes or citizens?

Some studies posit that poverty, high dependency rate, unregulated mining sector and unemployment influence galamsey in Ghana, yet there is one compelling factor that is influencing galamsey as in other sectors.

This is the desire to get rich quicker than expected. This is compelling because there are some people in the galamsey communities who have struck fortunes and are the toast of the people and so the activity is a do-or-die affair.

This proclivity is not easy to kill but the other influencing factors can be fixed to stem the deaths and other devastating consequences.

We are concerned mostly with these consequences because the death of young people, for example, is a great loss to the nation, particularly in the belief that they could have been better persons with alternative endeavours and contributed significantly to nation building.

The current fight against galamsey seems to have waned and so its fire must be stoked, while the other influencing factors must be addressed such as having alternative economic activities for the illegal indigenous miners and applying the law to flush out the foreigners,

It is our conviction that if chiefs and other traditional leaders, politicians and security personnel accept the challenge to fight galamsey, the perpetrators would have nowhere to hide in spite of their occasional attempts to resist any check against them,

This is important to save the country the constant accidents in galamsey pits or sites, which disasters bring unbudgeted-for expenses to the country even though the miners were engaging private activity for personal gains,

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