OccupyGhana declares ‘RedApril’ in the fight against galamsey

Pressure group, OccupyGhana has called on the government to take immediate action against all unlicensed and unregulated mining in the country.

In a press release issued on March 30, 2017, the group said it has studied the galamsey phenomenon from all possible angles – social, economic, medical, legal among others and has concluded that there is and can be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to persist in Ghana.

The group implores government to explore the provision of gainful, alternative employment to persons engaged in galamsey.

It also asked the government to support mass education on the galamsey menace, particularly through local civil society and be mindful of the potential national security threat that galamsey poses

In October 2016, OccupyGhana sent a team to the Tarkwa area to study and report on galamsey activities, it said

The OG Team’s report paints a dire picture of the dangerous mix of a vibrant ‘Galamsey Economy’ that exists unrestrained and unchecked and in blatant disregard of the law, a huge industry organised through collusive efforts between chiefs, other influential people in society such as politicians, law enforcement officers, farmers and the unemployed (now financed and equipped by Chinese operators and their Ghanaian front-men or competitors), it noted.

The group also observed the ruthless excavation of riverbeds and farms in the search for gold, the ruin of large rivers and streams, lakes and other water bodies (possibly permanently), the creation of gaping holes and concealed residue of mining activity left behind as death-traps, chemical residue that poison the earth and water, and the severe health challenges caused by galamsey to its actors and others.

“Ghana is thus, not only being cursed with a future of thirst but also, exposure to cancerous diseases caused by the consumption of food grown on toxic land,” it added.

“Before our very eyes, we are seeing a time-bomb that is waiting to explode – the desertification, deforestation and degradation of our land, erosion, pollution of rivers and other water bodies, and poor waste management. This cannot be allowed to continue for even a day more,” it further said”

The group has therefore, declared the entire month of April as #RedApril urging all well-meaning and concerned Ghanaians, throughout the month, to create awareness and speak out against galamsey.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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