Some galamsey operators in four districts of the Western region have pledged to suspend their activities in support of government’s fight to end the menace.
They contend that the devastating impact of their activities is affecting themselves and other innocent lives.
The Spokeperson for the galamsey operators, Nana Ntori Bonkyi Akomea made their intent known when they met with the Environment, Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Frimpong Boateng in Accra on Thursday.
“Another appeal that we have put before the government is that we require time to suspend our operations and engage in negotiations to see how best we could mine the mineral.We are of the conviction that government is not against gold mining but the means by which the activity is carried out is of concern,” he said.
The group comprises representatives from the Amenfi West, East, Central and Prestea Huni Valley districts.
Among the reasons they cited for their activities included the challenges with the centralised licensing regime plus the granting of concessions to large mines who eventually take up their farmlands.
Nana Bonkyi Akomea was also hopeful that the decentralization of the granting of mining permits will largely reduce the numbers of illegal mining activities.
“We are of the conviction that government is not against gold mining but the means by which the activity is carried out is of concern. What we are therefore seeking from the government is that the processes of issuance be decentralised to give the local authorities the power to monitor the activities of persons who would be granted permit.”
Nana Ntori Bonkyi Akomea further appealed to other communities affected by the menace.
“We are appealing to our sister communities across the country affected by the galamsey activities to support us.’
Meanwhile the Environment Minister, Prof. Frimpong Boateng has pledged of the government’s commitment to heed the concerns expressed by the illegal miners by factoring them into the plan outlined for ending the illicit act.
The discussions also come on the back of Citi FM’s campaign #StopGalamseyNow.
As part of the campaign, the station is seeking five demands from government in ending the menace.
A petition is expected to be presented to Parliament to seek its support in getting the act curtailed.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana