Financial analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford has called for the legalization of small scale illegal mining commonly called galamsey in Ghana.
According to him, it can be captured under a category he referred to as micro scale mining and their activities should be clearly spelt out in the law.
The financial analyst further argued that it was not right stopping Ghanaians who take up mining as a profession from engaging in galamsey and thus the law could regulate their activities.
[contextly_sidebar id=”mpZlbuOBAYFN0xXKZHbAOsSkY6cH8LZo”]Speaking on the Citi FM’s News analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, Casely-Hayford argued that “galamsey is illegal because there is no definition for illegal mining in our laws.”
“The law says, this is large scale mining and they’ve defined it and criteria in which you can have a large scale mining enterprise. This is small scale mining and it’s defined very clearly under the small scale mining act. Anybody who doesn’t fall under category A or category B is declared illegal. So galamsey has become illegal by default and not by action. Now, somebody should come and tell why the Ashanti Gold Fields and the Newmont among others have the right to be mine and that my small artisanal indigene has no right to be a mine. He has a right to be a miner. This is what he has set out to be his life work, he wants to mine. You cannot tell him, you cannot be a miner you must instead be a farmer,” he added.
After legalizing the activity, Casely-Hayford further suggested that the law could prevent miners from mining gold in water bodies.
“I think that the first thing we have to do is to make the so called galamsey legal, legalize it. In legalizing it means giving it a law and also make it very clear that nobody, whether you are a large scale, small scale or galamsey scale…but none of them must be allowed to mine in any of the water bodies. That should be restricted because it is more important for us to have good clean healthy water than to have a law for mining. So they can go out and mine anywhere they want but they cannot mine the water bodies that is out of the question” he added.
There has been intense pressure on government to deal with the galamsey menace following reports that Ghana may soon be importing water if nothing is done.
Currently, some water treatment plants have been shut down over activities of illegal miners, which have rendered water bodies from which the plants harvest water for processing useless.
The galamsey menace has also led to the destruction of many farmlands, which serve as livelihood for a number of families.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana