The Ghana Growth and Development Platform (GGDP) says it supports governments effort to stop galamsey, but wants this done “simultaneously with measures to reform galamsey operations”.
They also called on government to assist miners to legalise their operations. This is critical, “so that it can continue to provide employment, income and foreign exchange for miners, their communities and the nations,” Mr Kwamena Essilfie Adjaye, an Economist and founder of GGDP noted in a paper titled: The Employment, Income and Foreign Exchange Effects of Small-Scale Mining (Galamsey).
Excerpts of the paper said “government’s corrective action must not make it difficult or impossible for people to be employed in and earn income and foreign exchange from small scale mining. This, the 15-page Paper notes, must be by strengthening institutions for monitoring and controlling small scale and galamsey activities.
“Enforce guidelines for the protection of the environment, control bad social effects, advise and assist miners to operate formally and professionally and above all, review Ghana’s mineral land concession system and reinforce employment creation, income generation, while undertaking alternative livelihood programmes.”
Mr Adjaye was emphatic, saying efforts to regularise Ghana’s galamsey and mining industry must necessarily have an economic tangent in which alternative livelihoods such as retraining and application of legal and appropriate means of mining are applied to ensure that employment, income and foreign exchange are generated.
He therefore, called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Agriculture among others to collaborate at making the lives of miners profitable and meaningful across the various mine sites, be it legal or illegal.
He urged small scale mining, which is the traditional mining process, often referred to as galamsey to be modernised and made to remain Ghanaian owned and operated, creating employment in communities, while generating income and foreign exchange for them.
Mr Adjaye called for swift and firm action to legalize, advise and assist small scale miners to not only formalise their activities, but to educate them to recognise the need to ensure a sustainable environment that leaves all the river bodies useful and profitable to them.
Illegal small-scale mining otherwise known as galamsey is currently banned, while government and its agencies find a sustainable approach for operators. Galamsey has destroyed almost all of Ghana’s water bodies, making it difficult and more expensive for the Ghana Water Company Limited to process pipe borne water for the country.
Gideon Sackitey|3FM| Ghana