Media Coalition Against Galamsey Forum
The Media Coalition Against Galamsey has intensified its campaign drive against illegal mining, otherwise known as, galamsey, in the country and called on the government to implement to the latter, laws against it. It said through the activities of the Operation Vanguard, over one thousand suspected illegal miners have been apprehended but regretted that only about ten per cent of the total figure have so far been prosecuted as a result of delay in persecution as well as the influence of its financiers. The president of the Ghana Journalists’ Association, GJA Roland Affail Monney who represents the GJA on the coalition, made the call at a Town Hall Meeting in Wa. Traditional rulers, youth groups, Professional Associations and the media among others attended the forum which was organised by the National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE with financial support from the Media Coalition Against Galamsey. Mr. Monney observed that the activities of illegal miners are detrimental to the development of the country as it is a major cause of the destruction of the nation’s rich vegetation and water bodies. He therefore explained that as part of efforts of the Coalition to end illegal mining, it spearheaded the formation of the task force, Operation Vanguard which has been at the forefront of the fight against galamsey, shaped opinions, influenced policies and set the agenda towards its fight since its inception about a year ago. He emphacised the need for cases related to galamsey to be fast-tracked to ensure that perpetrators of the act are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others. Mr. Monney, however, indicated that the fight against galamsey cannot be won by one institution and urged the general public as well as the media and all stakeholders to join forces to support the coalition to nib the practice in the bud. For his part, a Senior Research Scientist at the Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR Dr. Anthony Duah bemoaned that illegal
mining has not only destroyed water bodies in the country but that it has also led to the destruction of forest reserves. According to him this has further resulted in climate change and the erratic rainfall pattern the country is currently experiencing adding that it has dire consequences on the lives of the people. Dr. Duah indicated that though a lot of progress has been made in the fight against galamsey, much still needs to be done and called on the government to put in stringent measures to sustain the gains made so far in that regard.
Story by: Philip Tenzu, Radiomakoline.co