We must revive momentum against galamsey – Affail Monney
The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has emphasised the need to restore the heightened campaign against illegal mining, also known as galamsey.
The GJA is part of a media coalition against galamsey established at the peak of the galamsey fight after President Akufo-Addo placed a temporal ban on small-scale mining.
On the back of a two-day National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining scheduled to end on April 15, 2021, GJA President Roland Affail Monney said, “The fight against galamsey is achievable given what we saw in the past. The dialogue is an open admission that we were doing well, but we failed the momentum, so there’s the need to be more tenacious”.
A communiqué on sustainable solutions to the illegal mining menace is expected to be issued after the programme.
The forum focused on challenges facing the small-scale mining sector.
The forum will have inputs from key mining experts, the Small-Scale Mining Association, the Coalition of Civil Society Against Illegal Small-Scale Mining.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo says he will not punish his appointees in the fight against illegal mining based on just hearsay.
“I will not hesitate to act where the evidence is hard before the police. And I will do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved,” he said while reaffirming his commitment to protecting the environment.
Speaking at the launch of the forum on Wednesday, Akufo-Addo expressed hope that discussions on the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale mining will be honest and devoid of partisanship.
“We cannot have one part of the political divide campaigning for galamsey in the bush and the other waging an official fight against galamsey in the open.
“It is absolutely crucial that the deliberations of this consultative dialogue be candid and devoid of partisanship or narrow parochial interests,” President Akufo-Addo said as he launched the forum on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
He was optimistic that the outcome of the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale Mining would birth a policy backed by national consensus.
At the end of deliberations, the President wants the consensus to be on “sustainable methods of mining the minerals in our land.”
Although several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have engaged in active campaigns to save the environment, President Akufo-Addo believes that these activities have been left in the hands of foreign observers.
He wants to see more Ghanaians engaged in environmental activism.
“It is the land of our birth. It is the land we inhabit. It is the land that supports our lives and livelihoods…We, the Ghanaian people, must be its best protectors.”