Category Archives: News

Govt’s fight against galamsey not well thought through – Mornah

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File: One Chinese illegal miner bolting upon seeing TV3 crew

The Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah has lashed out at government’s approach at ending illegal mining, known as galamsey, in the country.

Being spearheaded by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Peter Amewu, there has been a concerted nationwide effort which is making inroads in stopping the galamsey menace.

Though many have given the government thumbs up and proffered support, Bernard Mornah is least enthused about the exercise.

He told Stephen Anti on TV3’s [email protected] on Thursday that his assessment of the exercise so far has proven that it was “not well thought through”.

He explained that instead of the government zeroing down on persons who are actually engaged in illegal mining, the Natural Resources Ministry has just lumped everybody together causing discomfort to many. He cited for instance that a company the sector minister ordered for its closure had all licences required and issued by institutions under his ministry.

Bernard Mornah indicated that the government needs to have a deeper reflection on why galamsey was not such a menace until less than a decade now.

Crusaders against galamsey activities are alarmed by the destruction to the country’s vegetation and degradation of the environment. They are even more incensed by how water bodies have been destroyed by actions of illegal miners.

According to the PNC chairman, galamsey though had been with us for about 40 years now, its menace should be attributed to the advent of Chinese illegal miners, who are mining indiscriminately without being checked by state agencies.

Now due to the Chinese illegal miners and few Ghanaians who have joined the acts of destroying the environment, locals who were using “hammer and chisel to get gold out of rock” are being chased out.

He asked the government to reassess its approach because, he believes, Mr. Peter Amewu is “overreacting”.

By Isaac Essel |3news.com|Ghana

J Initiative represents Ghana at EMEA Child Safety Summit

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Awo Aidam Amenyah

J Initiative, a child online protection and Digital Literacy advocacy group, has been selected to represent Ghana in an ongoing Child Safety Summit in Dublin.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Child Safety Summit dubbed “Google-Facebook Child Safety Summit” is aimed at bringing together academics, NGO’s & charities, politicians, Googlers and Facebookers to share expertise, progress, new plans and products.

The Summit aside assembling safety experts and organizations from Europe, Middle East and other African countries will focus on: fighting child sexual abuse online, discuss digital literacy projects, showcase child safety tools & products and many more.

“We are pleased to be taking part in this year’s Summit and most importantly joining Europe, Middle East and other Africa countries to exchange best practices, discuss how we can collectively protect children and young people online and to also put in place proactive measures to guarantee young people’s safety in the ever-changing virtual world,” Awo Aidam Amenyah, Executive Director of J Initiative told the journalists.

“We look forward to coming back to Ghana with a lot more innovative resources to ensure that parents, teachers and young people have the needed tools and knowledge they need to make responsible choices online,” remarked.

J Initiative was instrumental together with partners like World Vision International Ghana, Facebook, Vodafone-Ghana, Tigo-Ghana, Media Foundation for West Africa, Opening Learning, National Communications Authority and other collaborators  in the celebration of Safer Internet Day 2017 (#SIDGhana) February in Ghana. It emphasized on the need for stakeholders working together to better protect children and young people online.

The 2nd annual EMEA Child Safety Summit, is being co-hosted by Google and Facebook, at Google’s offices in Dublin on April 27 and Facebook’s offices on April 28.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Galamsey affects investment and revenue – Australian High Commissioner

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Galamsey has destroyed most water bodies

Australian High Commission to Ghana, Andrew Barnes is challenging government to ensure its fight against illegal mining is sustained.

Speaking to 3FM News, the Ambassador maintained the move would ensure that Ghana becomes an attractive investment destination.

“Ghana has to be attractive for foreign investment and it has to compete with neighbouring countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso who also have great mining wealth.

“Ghana’s financial structures have to be comparable and competitive to those countries because we live and work in a global market place. The investor will look at other considerations like political stability so that rules and regulations will not change halfway to affect investment.

“Others include transparent environment so that fees, charges and taxes to be paid are visible, safety and security and strength of the workforce. Ghana on all of these has a good standing for investment in the mining sector”.

Ambassador Andrew Barnes who also has expertise in Tax Law, Financial reporting, Mergers and Acquisitions argues the issue of illegal mining puts Ghana at a disadvantaged position in terms of investment, revenue generation and leakage.

Galamsey is threatening the country’s water bodies and environment

Transparency is crucial to good governance; getting the institutional frameworks put in place has been helpful to the Australian government.

That is why we are a big supporter of the International Extractive Transparency Initiative, aimed at ensuring transparency on both sides.

Galamsey currently has absolutely no transparency and there is huge leakage of revenue potential, and the mount of leakage of gold Ghana is missing out on illegal mining is alarming.

The Ambassador further urged Ghana to ensure a strong mining code, legal offices and enforcements in the courts of law to deal with the fight against illegal mining in the country.

“Gold mining in Australia is deep mining not artisanal as in Ghana which makes it easier for small scale mining to operate. That in itself is not a problem. The real problem is the illegal small scale mining.

“… It’s being financed by people with money and so mechanization is coming into it with people using heavy equipments making it more of a problem.

“From the Australian experience, I’d say enforcement and strong legal framework are important. We always had good structures where the police and law could come in and control things”.

He added that “a strong miming legal code is also important and must be backed by legal offices and enforcements in the courts law plus alternative livelihood”.

The Ambassador also commended the government for tackling the problem head on. “I must give my congratulations to the present government (President) and minster for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu. He is doing a very excellent job because they are not shying away from the problem as in the past”.

“They are not ignoring it but dealing with it as should be otherwise Ghana’s environment together with its natural resources would be destroyed.

They have also put together the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) which is very comprehensive. Ghana really has no choice but to tackle the problem”.

Government has embarked on a massive campaign to eradicate illegal mining which has devastated many of the country’s natural resources, particularly water bodies.

By Mercy C. Adjabeng/ 3FM 92.7/3News.com

Deputy Health Minister ‘muffled’ at PAC sitting

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James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee

Deputy Minister of Health Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu who was to represent the sector minister at the Public Accounts Committee sat through the sitting without uttering a word today.

He was unable to speak for his boss because some members of the committee mainly from the minority side prevented him from taking an oath before the committee. The oath would have enabled him to represent the Minister of Health Agyemang Manu.

The committee was looking into the audit report by the Auditor General on the disposal of government vehicles by the Ghana Health Service.

The MP for Kumbungu Ras Mubarak raised red flag about a possible conflict of interest when the deputy Minister stood up to take the oath. According to him, Kingsley Aboagye is the Ranking Member of the Committee, and therefore suggested that he stepped aside in the interest of the committee and himself.

Subsequently, other members from the Minority side, Richard Quashigah MP for Keta,  Clement Apaak MP for Bulsa South seconded their colleague, insisting that since there are two deputies at the Health Ministry, the other should be called to replace Agyemang Manu rather than the Ranking Member.

However,  the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee James Klutse Avedzi conceded that although this has been a regular practice, there have been several attempts to get ministers of state on parliamentary committees replaced albeit without success.

He however agreed that the Deputy Minister of Health who is the MP for Bibiani Anweaso Bekwai should be allowed to sit in for the substantive Minister Agyemang Manu but will not be allowed to take any oath. Other officials from the Ghana Health Service were allowed to take their oaths.

This compelled the Deputy Minister to sit quietly throughout the proceedings without uttering a word.

Nonetheless , the Director General of Ghana Health Service Dr. Nsiah Asare was present to answer questions pertaining  to the Auditor General’s report, with support from the Chief Director of the ministry Dr. Afisa Zachariah, Director of Administration of GHS Kofi Poku and Director of Finance at the Ministry, Ramatu Ude.

The committee was however informed by the Chairman of the committee James Klutse Avedzi that Agyemang Manu had early on communicated to him that he will be in India at the time of the committee sitting.

By Onua FM| Owoahene Omari Acheampong|3news.com

Small scale miners ready to assist gov’t to fight illegal mining

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Small scale miners in the Ashanti Region have expressed readiness to assist the government in fighting the menace of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey.

The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners intends to constitute a taskforce with the mandate to monitor and report activities of illegal miners to security personnel.

Civil society organizations and the media have in the past month joined the government to launch series of campaigns against illegal mining which is causing havoc to livelihoods and property.

The government has directed the suspension of all small scale mining activities in a move to streamline the licensing and operations of the sector.

Over 500 excavators have so far been moved from various mining sites across the country.

Members of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners in the Ashanti Region are agitating to be allowed to go back to work since they are licensed.

“The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has stated categorically that his government is against illegal mining but we don’t understand why those of us who have license to operate have also been affected.

“We plead with the government to allow us go back to site to work and pay the loans we’ve taken from banks,” spokesperson of the group, Frank Osei, noted.

The group pledged to support the government to fight illegal miners whose unregulated activities have resulted in the destruction of water bodies, farmlands and forests.

“As part of our efforts to assist the government eradicate illegal mining, we have decided to form a taskforce to monitor and report illegal mining activities to the security agencies.”

The Association entreated all licensed small scale miners to abide by the mining laws in carrying out their activities.

By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana

Illegal mining machines destroyed in renewed crackdown in Dunkwa-On-Offin

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Some of the mining equipment were burnt on the site

Sixty-nine illegal mining machines have been confiscated and destroyed by an anti-galamsey taskforce in Dunkwa-on-Offin, Central Region.

The ‘Stop Galamsey Operation’ Taskforce at Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region destroyed 19 machines on Tuesday and followed up with 50 machines on Wednesday.

The machines were used by illegal miners operating on River Offin, which serves as the major source of water for residents in the Upper Denkyira East District.

The taskforce was set up by the Chief of Dunkwa-On-Offin, Okofrobuor Obeng Nuako III, in collaboration with the Dunkwa-On-Offin Small Scale Mining Association and it has representations from the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Minerals Commission, Ghana Police Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Dunkwa Traditional Council.

Security personnel are part of the taskforce

The Public Relation Officer of ‘Stop Galamsey Taskforce’ in Dunkwa Offin, Peter Ayilkey, confirming their latest action to the media, said government’s effort to crack down on galamsey would be better fought if traditional rulers and legal small scale miners got involved.

He further appealed for support from government to reduce or halt activities of illegal miners which have led to the pollution of many water bodies in the country.

The Dunkwa Small Scale Mining Association said they supported Lands Minister John Peter Amewu’s roadmap to ending activities of illegal miners because of the death traps the galamseyers –as they are called – are creating in the community.

Some of the miners counted their loss as the machines were destroyed

“We have always advised them to leave but they don’t want to leave,” the Association said, adding they have given their support to the Taskforce to destroy equipment used by the illegal miners.

Instructions have also been given the team to hand over those apprehended to the police.

By Kwame Kakarba|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

One killed, three injured in Mallam interchange accident

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The car fell off the overhead road

One person died on the spot while three others sustained serious injuries on Thursday morning when a Toyota Camry skidded off the Mallam Junction stretch of the N1 highway unto the main Mallam-Kasoa road.

The injured were sent to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment while the deceased was also sent to the morgue of the same hospital.

The accident occurred around 4am when the Toyota Camry with registration number GR 499-16 was driving from the Awoshie-Baah-Yard stretch of the N1 to the Mallam Junction interchange.

An eye witness told Onua FM that the Camry was on top speed from the Awoshie stretch and on reaching the interchange, the vehicle rolled from the top onto the main road to McCarthy Hill.

The witness said they called people around to come and help save the victims but they realized one out of the four was dead.

Bottles of alcoholic drinks and dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp were found in the car.

The witness added that they called the police from the McCarthy Hill check point to the scene and the vehicle was towed to the Odorkor Police Station.

Police source at the Odorkor Motor Traffic Transport Department (MTTD) confirmed the incident but said investigations are ongoing.

Police confirmed the dead and the injured but explained that they were waiting for the injured to gain consciousness before they can take their statements on what actually transpired.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

Faulty traffic light causes accident at Adabraka

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A faulty traffic light near Niagara Hotel at Adabraka in Accra caused accidents in the early hours of Thursday.

Two vehicles, a Honda Civic with registration number GC 4327-12 and a Sprinter commercial vehicle with registration number GE 8138-14 collided at the traffic intersection in a struggle to beat the confusion.

The Honda Civic was from Adabraka to Asylum Down while the Sprinter was from Accra Central to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

An eyewitness explained that both drivers were on top speed and so the Sprinter somersaulted after the collision.

There were three people on the Sprinter but no one sustained injuries.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

[Photos] Trotro crashes into house at Laterbiokoshie

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Some locals gather around the trotro

A 207 Mercedes Benz passenger bus on Wednesday morning crashed into a house at Laterbiokoshie, a suburb of Accra, injuring a number of people.

According to an eyewitness called Genevieve, the trotro descended from a road in an apparent loss of control by the driver and ran into the house.

Some locals engage in group discussions

Some of the injured passengers wait for First Aid

A passenger shows her injury

A close shot of the trotro

3news.com upon arrival at the scene spoke to the driver Abdul Baba, who narrated how the accident happened.

“I was coming from the top and before I got to the junction, I realised my brakes had failed me so the car went straight into the house.

“I am very surprised because I checked my brakes and tyres before I left the house in the morning and this was even my second trip of the morning.”

He confirmed that he had 23 passengers in the car and some had sustained injuries.

By Nana Afrane Asante|3news.com|Ghana

 

Danger in Ghanaian homes with rise in sliding windows – Nuclear Authority boss warns

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NRA DG Prof Emi-Reynolds is Vice President of the Convention on Nuclear Safety

The Acting Director General of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), Professor Geoffrey Emi-Reynolds, has advised Ghanaians to return to the use of louvers as windows to avoid the effects of concentration of radiation.

Prof. Emi-Reynolds says the rise in the use of sliding windows as part of new building technology could contribute to the build-up of radioactive particles emitted from the use of gadgets such as microwaves, mobile phones and refrigerators at homes.

He expressed these observation on the sidelines of a media workshop on Wednesday, April 26.

The workshop was aimed at creating awareness on radiation, its uses and benefits as well as its harmful effects among the media.

Prof Emi-Reynolds lamented the recent phenomenon of many Ghanaian houses being completely sealed with little ventilation.

He says though air-conditioners are meant for the tropical region, especially for buildings with sliding windows, radiations emitted from various gadgets at homes do get concentrated as a result of the enclosed buildings.

He challenged Ghanaians to allow the free flow of air by going for louvers as windows.

The Director of the Radiological Applications Department of the Authority, Abdel Razak Awudu, took participants of the workshop through radiation and its effects.

He mentioned shielding, reduction in time and increase in distance as three major ways of reducing the harmful effects of radiation. For instance, he recommended the use of ear pieces of mobile phones as the best in cases where users will have a long phone talk.

The workshop took media personnel through the regulation regime in Ghana

Legal officer Ebenezer Appiah Opare took participants through some of the nuclear regulations under the Nuclear Regulatory Act, Act 895.

He mentioned safety, security and safeguards as the effective ways of implementing the regulations.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana