The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has urged small-scale miners in the Ashanti Region to comply with government’s ban on all forms of small scale mining.
According to him, the ban is a step in the right direction and will help curb the menace, as every Ghanaian has to accept that “this is being done to save Ghana from extinction.”
He made these remarks when the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Peter Amewu, his two deputies, other government officials and the Australian High Commissioner paid a courtesy call on him.
“The suspension of the small scale mining is fine. We need to plead with the small scale miners to understand this; that government is not saying that you can’t mine but for now, please stop for them to come up with a better programme,” the Asantehene said.
His urge came after the Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Association of Small-Scale Miners served notice of a demonstration against the government over the ban on small-scale mining, claiming its members are being unfairly targeted.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also noted that some small-scale miners were complicit in the illegal mining menace via acts of commission.
“They [smal scale miners] are also to be blamed because they were mining and the galamseyers were mining. They could have drawn government’s attention to the fact that these people who were doing galamsey were destroying the environment. These are issues that are multifaceted so we need to take bold decision and confront it and find an amicable solution and from there, we can move on.”
The Asantehene further lauded the Lands Ministry for the action taken to clamp down illegal mining activities in the country.
“Mr. Minister, please continue. Your ministers are supporting you. We support you and want you to do the right thing for Ghana. You are not doing it for yourself, you are doing it for generations yet unborn.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II reminded that the aftermath of the galamsey fight was also critical, as far as the reclamation of land and the reintegration of former illegal miners was concerned.
He stressed the need for multifaceted solutions to the menace and the need for a blueprint that would help get the required funding for the efforts.
“Do a blueprint and do a road show to present it to them so they [possible donors] know this is our position and this is our predicament and we need them to support and we can find solutions to that,” he advised.
Photos: Lauretta Timmah
By: Kojo Agyeman/citifmonline.com/Ghana