The Ashanti Regional Association of Small Scale Miners are alleging that some government appointees are sabotaging the fight against galamsey by the President Akufo- Addo’s government.
According to them, top political kingpins and some government appointees have been able to ”buy” a cream of the police and military personnel, paving way for their employees (galamseyers) to continue with their illegal activities at midnight.
This they say is making their fight against illegal mining unsuccessful.
Speaking to Abusua News in an interview, the Director of Research and Planning of the Association Mr. Mike Gizo noted the government is still struggling to fight illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey because most of government appointees have concession and they are supporting foreigners to do mining in the country despite the ban on galamsey.
Mike Gizo revealed that most of Forest Reserves in Ghana especially Ashanti Region and Western Region are currently being operated by the said government officials.
He cited Koboro Forest reserve in Amansie Central, Atta ne Atta Forest Reserve in the Western Region, Kubi in the Central Region near Dunkwah and Furu River Forest Reserve also in the Western Region in Nsuta near Tarkwa as places where the Chinese mainly operate.
Mr. Gizo also stated that those working in the Koboro Forest Reserve are being protected by military personnel.
”The Koboro stillage is disposed of directly into the Oda River which undoubtedly increases the turbidity rate of the river body.
”I can commend some government appointees because they are surely behind the government as far as the fight against galamsey is a concern while others are sabotaging the fight making the fight very difficult. Some foreigners and illegal miners have been employed by some government appointees and top political kingpins to do illegal mining in most of the forest reserves in Ghana. Last time our task force went to one of the forest reserves where foreigners are mining and soldiers protecting them threaten to kill us if we dare. The situation is very disheartening” he said.
Mike Gizo, however, appealed to the government to give small-scale miners with genuine license to go back to their site.
He, however, commended Professor Frimpong Boateng, Charles Bissue, Peter Amewu and other members of the inter-ministerial committee on illegal for working assiduously to sanitize the sector for a sustainable mining practice to be adopted.
Finally, he appealed to government, the media and the entire nation to help safeguard the environments, Forest Reserve and all river bodies in the country, adding that the ban on small-scale mining should be lifted for the benefit of trainees who have benefited from government’s sponsored training on sustainable mining practices at the University Of Mines [Tarkwa] to help protect the investment of indigents in Artisanal and small scale mining sector.