Your surprise at the galamsey activity is laughable – Minority to Land Minister
A minority in Parliament has described the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources’ surprise at the extent of illegal mining in Ghana as laughable.
“Why should anyone be surprised when it is clear that after several expensive conferences organized by the government, no practical steps have been taken to save our countries,” the minority said in a statement.
It noted that it had previously expressed concern about illegal mining before it received renewed national attention.
“Twice this year, the minority through the Mines and Energy Committee has alerted the government to relapse in their fight against galamsey.”
“We have called on the responsible ministers to wake up from their long slumber and save our countries from selfish galamsay operators.
The minority claims that government inaction has allowed illegal mining to continue, and known supporters of the ruling party have been diligently sinking machines into land around the world, including state-reserved areas, polluting our fresh waters and destroying farmland.
“The ease with which private citizens, many of them foreigners, swoop into our countries and ravage them under this regime is very disturbing. It justifies why many citizens and civil society groups are expressing concern about the future of our country.
Please find the full statement below
Stop Fraud to Fight Illegal Mining and Get Serious About Saving Our Lands and Waters: Parliamentary Minority Party Statement, 1 October 2022
The Daily Graphic on September 30, 2022 reported the visit of the country’s minister to some galamsey places in the Eastern region. To our greatest surprise, the Minister seemed surprised by the immeasurable destruction of land and environment by the Galamsey operators. We remember President Nana Ado Danquah Akufo Ado boasting that he got the right minister to do a job that we are quite sure he did not intend. Before his announcement of a new minister whose competence we have no doubt, Ghanaians were stunned and critical of the collaborative destruction of our wet and dry lands across the country during the 4 years of Nana Addo’s first term in office. As usual, the false promises and sweet words of this regime were used to placate an unsuspecting Ghanaian pointing to the new policy on galamsey. Two years after this direction of the “new policy” on Galamsey, the minister flies to the same places on Galamsey that he promised to save, to see a more devastating, painfully destroyed landscape and look surprised to find the Ghanaian population to put up with this lackluster political approach.
This year, the minority, through the Mines and Energy Committee, twice alerted the government to relapse in their fight against galamsey. We have called on the responsible ministers to wake up from their long slumber and save our countries from selfish galamsay operators. They maintained their sleepy mood and allowed the destruction to continue as known supporters of the ruling party busily sank machines into lands around the world, including state-reserved areas, polluting our fresh waters and destroying farmland. While we are concerned about the current situation and the minister’s ridiculous surprise, there are many more galamsey operations going on that the government is aware of and its agents are deliberately ignoring! What fight did the President have in mind when he announced to the people his determination to eliminate galamsey from our lands? Why will anyone be surprised when it is clear that after several expensive conferences organized by the government to address the problems posed by illegal mining, no practical steps have been taken to save our lands?
The ease with which private citizens, many of foreign origin, swoop into our countries and ravage them under this regime is deeply disturbing. It explains why many citizens and civil society groups are expressing concern about the future of our country. The gratuitous destruction of land by miners of all kinds is having a devastating effect on our cocoa production and our drinking water. While oil companies at one point had to import fresh water from neighboring La Cote d’voire, our long-time trading partners, the European Union, are also considering banning the purchase of Ghanaian cocoa due to high mercury contamination from irresponsible mining. That’s why it didn’t come as much of a surprise when the government’s civil society group Occupy Ghana issued a threat to take the government to court over its poor over what it called the government’s “absolute incompetence in the face of the wanton destruction of our lands and wanton poisoning of our water bodies.” All of this defines the mishandling of the unprecedented destruction of our countries. The situation as it is now should of course send signals to the government that all is not well when it comes to pretending that we are fighting to save our countries for the future generation.
As we watch what the Minister and his government will do next after his visit, and his surprise at seeing the massive destruction of our environment that we see as only the tip of the iceberg, we urge the Minister to put on sharper glasses and open his mind. wider so that the necessary steps can be taken. His actions will then help him absolve himself of any blame placed on him as a collaborator or an incompetent emergency president in the struggle for our countries to be destroyed with impunity and vexatiousness. We would like to see the government show accountability by stopping this illegal act and prosecute the defaulters and ensure that companies found to be involved in any illegal mining process get back all the land they have destroyed.