A former minister of Lands and Natural Resources and now Minister of Roads and Highways Alahaji Inusah Fuseini has called for the licensing of galamsey operators in the country.
According to Alahaji Inusah Fuseini the move will ensure proper regulation of the activities of the miners.
Speaking to Citi Business News Alahaji Inusah Fuseini said Ghana will benefit immensely if the activities of galamsey operators are regularized and regulated.
“How do you make illegal small scale mining unsustainable, make licensing easier to come by. Parcel out large portions of lands and declare them zones for small scale mining and give them out as concessions. And when you do so the next challenge they face is how to raise resources especially funding to get the equipment and mine appropriately.”
Alahaji Inusah Fuseini further argued that though illegal small scale mining cannot be tolerated under any legal framework in Ghana people are drawn to illegal small scale mining because its provides an avenue for employment.
He attributed the large numbers of Ghanaian youth going into galamsey to the issue of unemployment facing the country.
He contends the country can only save its forest reserves and water bodies when the activates of the galamsey operators are highly regulated.
“I think we must begin to consider bringing them together and licensing them because mining is capital intensive and we have moved away from pick axe and shovels but one has to use tractors and other heavy equipment as gold has moved from the surface to deep into the earth.”
There has been heightened debate about the activities of illegal miners who are destroying aquatic life, polluting major rivers and streams, forest reserves and farms.
According to the Ghana Water Company Limited the development has lead to an in the cost of processing and producing water for homes.
Citi Business News have learnt that if the activities of the galamsey are not checked it could lead to the closure of some three water treatment plants in the country which are at Barekese, Kyebi and Daboase.
Some lands and farms have also been rendered useless due to chemicals used by the illegal miners in extracting gold.
Earlier the Director of the Institute of Environment and Sanitation at the University of Ghana, Dr. Chris Gordon, warned of far-reaching effects of illegal mining painting a gloomy picture of the health implications for the average Ghanaian.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana