Director of Research and Policy at the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Africa Network (ASMAN) Edward Akuoku has expressed skepticism about government’s strategy of fighting illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey”.
The government in the wake of incessant illegal mining activities implemented a framework to streamline and sanitize the sector.
Among the strategies were the institution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM)and the introduction of Operation Vanguard, a combined military and police taskforce.
The work of the IMCIM and Operation Vanguard has, however, come under scrutiny and criticism following recent scandals of missing excavators, which were seized in the course of their duty.
Speaking to the issues arising from the scandal on 3FM Friday, Mr. Akuoku noted that the current strategy adopted by the government will not succeed as long as mining remains a source of livelihood.
He also raised concerns about the deployment strategy of the teams designated to pursue the illegal miners.
“You have Galamstop and Vanguard team stationed at Tarkwa. If there is an infraction in Enchi, the response time will be problematic. By the time Galamstop moves from Tarkwa to Enchi, the various road blocks by the police will inform them and they will flee,” Mr Akuoku said.
He maintained that it was not just enough for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to put his job on the line as a sign of his commitment to fighting illegal mining when his appointees are those actually on the ground.
He had hoped the ministers, regional ministers and the District Chief Executives would also put their jobs on the line.
“I think what the president failed to do was to caution his appointees like the various DCEs, the regional ministers and the minister involved, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, to also put their jobs on the line that if galamsey fails,” he said.
By Addo Anim Adinkrah|3news.com|Ghana