The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor is courting the support of the Christian Council as part of measures to halt illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in the country.
According to him, the fight against the menace required broad-based support from all Ghanaians to ensure the realisation of the desired results.
In a meeting with leadership of the Christian Council in Accra yesterday, he touted the strong role played by the Council to promote effective governance and unity in the country and asked them to offer same support to the fight against illegal mining.
“We need strong and authoritative voices like the Christian Council to be able to transform the hearts and minds of the Ghanaian people.
He said such engagements with leaders of key stakeholders were necessary in developing and implementing productive and impactful measures to aid the fight against the menace.
He noted of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s quest to marshall the citizenry towards protecting the environment and tackling destructive practices including illegal mining.
In this regard, Mr Jinapor said the support of the Council was critical at a time the government was working to resolve a “difficult situation.”
He stated that the reliable and sound inputs from the Council would enable the government to fashion out appropriate steps, to among others fight the illegal mining canker, improve mining operations and enhance the ecology of the country.
The minister further expressed gratitude to the Christian Council for their patriotic, nationalistic and the commitment to help government tackle illegal mining.
Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante said the Council was prepared to collaborate with the government in the implementation of measures designed to address the menace of illegal mining.
He noted the Council’s concern about the level of degradation and pollution caused by illegal mining activities in forest reserves and river bodies.
Prof. Mante, therefore, presented a copy of the Council’s statement calling for a temporary ban on small scale mining to the minister for his perusal and study.
It would be recalled that Christian and Muslim leaders, last week, called for an immediate ban of all small-scale mining activities until a workable and satisfactory road map had been developed to ensure responsible mining in the country.
They consequently proposed an urgent national stakeholder’s dialogue under the auspices of religious leaders to discuss the sector and the challenges of illegal mining with all political parties, mining technocrats, media, traditional authorities and other relevant groupings.
They argued that the dialogue was to enable them to commit to “a nonpartisan national strategy to sustainably deal with this national canker before we sink as a nation.”
In a related development, Mr Jinapor, October 24 this year, met the Council of State to provide updates on the ongoing fight against illegal mining.
The meeting was also to inform the Council of State of current developments in the sector, especially in relation to the illegal mining fight and mining operations in general.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS