Prince William Ankrah, General Secretary of the Ghana Mine workers Union, has hailed government and stakeholders’ efforts at tackling illegal mining, which has destroyed Ghana’s water bodies and farmlands.
He however said the national drive in combating the threat ought to be sustained with political actors to provide alternative employment to the vast majority of people whose livelihoods depend on the illegal activities.
Mr. Ankrah was speaking to reporters after the May Day Parade at the Black Star square in Accra, where some 750 mine workers from 43 companies joined the national day celebration.
While praising the actions by stakeholders in fighting the canker, Mr Ankrah said: “I think beyond everything, let’s be careful that we just don’t flush them out and think that is the end of it.”
“It is important that we look for other job options, to what extent can we ensure that well, if where they are mining has a potential for artisanal small scale mining, why won’t they encourage them and give them skills that can let them do something more professionally and do it well.”
“In that case, they can still do their work and not mess up with the water bodies. I think it is about the extent that environmental issues have become more critical that is why we are all scared, for me lets be careful.”
He added that, it was a good thing that the issue had been given the seriousness it deserved, but President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ought to be bold to sustain and win the fight even if it would cost his political career.
“I expect the President to be very bold and make sure that, look, even if this is going to cost your political career, we will see the President that his name will be in the records of our nation.”
He said the nation as a whole should get involved in the matter to deal with it once and for all.