Some residents of Prestea in the Prestea Huni Valley District of the Western Region, are kicking against the ban on all forms of small scale mining activities initiated by the Lands and Natural Resource Ministry across the country.
According to the residents, small-scale mining has been a part of their daily life “serving as a company” employing both skilled and unskilled youth in and around Prestea.
[contextly_sidebar id=”1QNQWmTWrP3ZnD557TRv2N7XnZxLOOBZ”]They questioned the government’s decision to halt galamsey when there has not been any alternative livelihood programme in place to absorb the thousands of people involved in the practice.
One of them, a woman, told Citi News that “I am an old woman. My son goes to the pit to feed himself and extend support to me daily. For the past three weeks, life has been very difficult for me. Staying out of this work for six months will be very tragic to me in particular”.
One other resident said, “the government during the campaign season last year, told us that they were going to build a gold processing factory in Prestea to employ some of us. That has not been built, why then do you ask us to stop the gala [Galamsey]? What should we eat during the six-month duration? ”
Residents of the largest constituency in the Western Region are predominantly small scale miners.
Successive governments which have over the years attempted to stop their operations, have often been voted out of office.
At a durbar held at Prestea, the Paramount chief of Prestea Himan Traditional Area, Nana Ntaboah Pra IV, commended the government’s initiative to ban all forms of illegal mining, but asked the government to fast track the processes to establish the promised gold refinery in Prestea to employ some of the youth who are going to be disengaged by the directive.
He asked the government to ensure sanity in the mining space and to ensure that pollution to water bodies are curtailed.
Illegal miners in Tarkwa-Breman vow to vote against MP
Meanwhile, some of the miners in Tarkwa-Breman in the Prestea Huni-Valley, have vowed to vote against their Member of Parliament (MP), Madam Barbara Oteng Gyasi in the next general election, for waging a war against their activities.
The first-time MP, is a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
By: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo/citifmonline.com/Ghana