The recent loss of the excavators in the country did not constitute the total failure of the fight against galamsey – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has stated.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoah, Director of Communications of the NPP, refuted the claims by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the NPP was not delivering on its mandate of eradicating galamsey in the country.
He said the party had left the case of the excavators to the police to handle and was wholeheartedly supporting the police to find out where the excavators were and how they went missing.
Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoah stated that despite the absence of the excavators, the NPP-led government had and was making significant strides in the fight against illegal mining through the policies and strategies implemented by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
“Through IMCIM, 4500 miners had been trained on good mining practices, a galamsey software application had been established to aid in the fight against galamsey, and 900 out of 1,300 small scale miners had been vetted and provided with QR codes to allow for easy monitoring and evaluation,” Mr Asamoah added.
He stated that aside this, the committee had built the capacity of regulatory agencies and inculcated the use of technology to support mining activities and to monitor illegal mining activities.
Mr Asamoah added that alternative livelihood programmes were instituted in 35 districts in 10 regions affected by illegal mining and 140 NaBCo graduates were trained in drone technology to monitor 70 districts to provide data on mining activities in the area.
“We have also proceeded with the implementation of the Community Mining Programme (CMP) where 300 mining concessions had been demarcated throughout the country for this programme in areas like Birim North, Ashanti Akim, Mpohor, Adansi and Akrofuom districts,” he added.
We had also built CHIPS compounds in those areas to ensure that the miners had access to healthcare, adding that, the decentralisation process had begun to reduce the application process for licenses and permits for small scale mining, the Communications Director stated.
He further called on the NDC to provide concrete proof that the government was not effectively fighting galamsey and asked why the NDC was commenting heavily on galamsey and not on other issues like the Togoland issues, the creation of the new regions, the success of the Year of Return and the settlement of the arrears of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC).
BY FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH