The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM), has condemned activities of illegal miners in the country.
According to the National Chairman of the Association, Collins Osei Kusi, they encourage “legal, safe and environmentally friendly practices” in mining and therefore would not condone the activities of illegal miners.
Speaking at a press conference organized by the Association, Osei Kusi said the Association was ready to collaborate with the task-forces in the various districts to help stop the illegal mining menace popularly known as galamsey.
It said “GNASSM is ready with its task-force at the various mining districts to team up with the national security apparatus to identify where illegal activities are taking place so that such people can be brought to book.”
He suggested that, government considers inviting the Navy to patrol Ghana’s water bodies to arrest illegal miners.
“The Navy can conduct an operation on all major rivers of the country to stop the ongoing illegality,” he said.
Many communities in Ghana are currently suffering the negative effects of galamsey which has left most of Ghana’s fresh water poisonous.
Thousands of acres of fertile farmlands have also been destroyed as a result of galamsey. Although Ghana’s laws are clear on illegal mining, the activity has been allowed to continue for more than two decades.
Citi FM has been at the forefront of media advocacy and crusade for action against the illegal activity.
But GNASSM has called on the various stakeholders to draw a distinction between small-scale mining and illegal mining, noting that some people victimize members of GNASSM in the fight against galamsey, but their operations were legal.
“The inability of stakeholders to differentiate the legal sector and the illegal, has created a platform where both parties are judged en-bloc,” Osei Kusi said.
Collins Osei Kusi explained that, “illegal miners are known to mine on rivers and other water bodies, in forest reserves and others that have not been approved by the Minerals Commission of Ghana.”
He added that “the ongoing discussions on whether to ban or allow the continuation of small-scale gold mining activities is of great importance to the Association as our livelihoods depend on the act”, and therefore assured to work with the government to achieve sustainable mining.”
By: Lauretta Timah/citifmonline.com/Ghana