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Richard Ahiagbah reveals why ‘galamsey’ fight has been difficult



The Director of Communications for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah has refuted assertions that the government has lost the fight against illegal mining popularly called galamsey due to a lack of commitment.

According to Mr. Ahiagbah, the interest in galamsey activities is due to the lucrative nature of the work.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, the politician explained that all the necessary policies needed to fight the canker have been implemented by government, therefore, the surge in galamsey activities should be blamed on greed and personal interests.

“There is no silver bullet on what to do about it but one thing I am clear about in my head is the unimpeachable commitment of the President towards the fight. He has been clear from day one. He wanted to fight it and he is focused on it.

“The difficulty in the fight against galamsey is quite simply the fact that it is a lucrative venture and rational human beings when they find the opportunity and society and government set up a policy to protect the collective goal of the society by seeking to regulate that opportunity, they will find means to deal with it.”

Mr Ahiagbah stressed that illegal small-scale mining has been a practice in Ghana pre-independence. However, conversations around the topic has increased due to a global interest in the effect that the activity is having on the environment.

He, therefore, reiterated promises made by government and the stance taken by President Akufo-Addo to fight the menace.

“What we are told is that galamsey or illegal small-scale mining precedes our time, it has been there during PNDC era, since independence it has been there.

“But it has attained a certain scale now that is threatening the environment and also because environmental conversations globally have been heightened so now attention is focused on it and the President rightfully from when he came into office decided that this must be confronted head-on.

“He has done everything to support media partners and advocates and civil society organisations who want this fought and everything policy-wise that ought to be done has been done to fight this.

“The challenge remains that the pursuit of that venture being profitable makes people find their way in there. The effort to fight galamsey has been resolute and has been done. The challenge we are having is people’s interest.”

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