Programme Specialist at the UNDP Richard Kojo Ellimah has advised government to target investors in the illegal mining chain for prosecution instead of arresting mere workers at the galamsey sites in the fight against the menace.
In an interview on the Omanbapa morning show on Connect FM on Monday, April 26, Mr. Ellimah explained that several regimes of government have tried fighting environmental degradation activities but never succeeded because of the approach.
He made reference to the late President Jerry John Rawlings, who attempted to put a halt to the social canker in 1980 by storming the galamsey sites with the military at Tarkwa and Prestea but it did not not yield the desired result.
Again the era of former President John Kufuor in 2005 saw Operation Flush-Out with military men charged to flush out illegal miners at Obuasi South and its environs, yet it was flawed.
Ex-President John Dramani Mahama also tried the Inter-Ministerial Task Force with a strategy of confiscating and burning of excavators belonging to those involved in illegal mining. Yet the fight against galamsey was a failure, the diplomat said.
The current government under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should have taken some pragmatic steps to assess the past attempts before using the military to fight this canker.
“Nana Addo should have done a review of responses from his predecessors’ interventions and find out whether or not they succeeded, what the bottlenecks were, all of which could have given him a clue.
“But due to the urgency and impatience of Nana Addo, the fight against galamsey is to no avail.”
Mr. Ellimah further recommended that one of the surest ways for the government to clamp down on galamsey is to target investors in the business rather than using military men go on operations .
“We should think about finding solution to the root cause of the problem,” he said.
The adverse effect of galamsey is so glaring that Ghana Water Company Limited has sounded caution to the general public that they now spend huge sums of money to treat water to make it safe for drinking.
By Monica Dede Odonkor (Aroma)|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana