Galamsey is threatening the country’s water bodies and environment[/caption] Some aggrieved artisanal miners in the Ashanti region are to petition the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II over government’s fight to halt illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, across the country. On Monday a group of miners invaded the assembly hall of the Amansie West district to petition the member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta Constituency. At an emergency meeting held at the TUC Complex in Kumasi Tuesday, an executive member of the Ashanti Regional artisanal miners chapter, Frank Osei, said the issue of illegal mining has been blown out of proportion. He accused government of giving the miners a bad name. “We have been demonised and it is not good for a government that wants to solve the escalating unemployment problem in the country” he stated. The meeting by the group was to discuss issues affecting their operations with the major one being government’s clamp down on illegal miners. Also on the agenda was arrangement for a meeting with the Asantehene to petition him on the fight against galamsey. “We are going to meet Otumfuo and petition him so he can intervene on this…We want the government to understand that we are ready to coorporate so that the environment is protected as we continue our work,” Mr Osei said. Enormity of destruction caused by illegal mining on the environment across the country has triggered response from government and civil society groups to end the canker. Almost all of Ghana’s rivers and water bodies have been polluted by the activities of galamsey as well as destruction of forest covers and farmlands.