The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has said President Akufo-Addo may lift the ban on all forms of small scale mining only when water bodies in affected mining communities become clean and safe for use.
His comment comes after President Akufo-Addo served notice that the ban will soon be lifted. President Akufo-Addo, while speaking at a workshop for traditional leaders and the clergy in Accra, said a comprehensive road-map was being developed to involve the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined-out areas.
But the sector minister, John Peter Amewu, while admitting that the road-map is being developed, told Citi News the ban will not be lifted until affected water bodies are restored to their natural state.
“Nana Akufo-Addo is saying that enough is enough. Let us see how we can make sure that our people benefit from mining practices. This is all that we are doing. We are working out the modalities and as soon as they are completed, we will make sure that mining will resume but it will be done in a more sustainable way.”
“These Rivers are not good. Until we begin and are prepared to drink those waters that we have there, at the stage that it is clear and colourless, I don’t think that the President will be willing to lift the ban…. Let’s make sure that the Rivers are clear. The very day that people begin to drink the water, then I think that he president in his own mind will know that of course the Rivers are getting clearer.
Peter Amewu expressed dissatisfaction over the poor state of many water bodies in the country although illegal small-scale mining has been largely curtailed due to the operations of the government’s anti-illegal mining task-force.
Meanwhile, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has warned the government against lifting the ban on small-scale mining anytime soon.
It said the country’s water bodies and environment were still in a bad state due to the devastating effects of illegal small-scale mining still ongoing in some parts of the country.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has also held discussions with the chiefs and people of the Denkyira Traditional Council at Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region, following a tour of Richie Plantations, an alternative livelihood project for illegal miners who have lost their jobs as a result of the mining ban.