Mr Prince William Ankrah, General Secretary, Ghana Mine workers Union, has hailed government and interested parties’ efforts at tackling the menace of illegal mining, which had caused wanton destruction to water bodies and farmlands.
He, however, said the national drive in combating the threat ought to be sustained through mustering of courage by political actors to provide alternative employment to the vast majority of people whose livelihoods depended on the illegal activities.
Mr Ankrah was speaking to reporters after the May Day Parade at the Black Star square in Accra, where some 750 mine workers from 43 companies joined the national day celebration.
The union members later gathered at the Cleaver House for merry making at the Cleaver House and took part in a raffle draw and other social activities to climax the event.
Scores of the workers won the raffle – taking home items such as Smart TV, microwaves, table top fridges, pressure cookers, irons, blenders, kettles, mobile phones, wax prints and deep freezers.
While lauding actions by stakeholders in fighting the canker, Mr Ankrah said: “I think beyond everything, let’s be careful that we just don’t flush them out and think that is the end of it.”
“It is important that we look for other job options, to what extent can we ensure that well, if where they are mining has a potential for artisanal small scale mining, why won’t they encourage them and give them skill test that can let them do something more professionally and do it well.”
“In that case, they can still do their work and not to mess up with the water bodies. I think it is about the extent that environmental issues have become more concern that is why we are all scared, for me lets be careful.”
He added that it was a good thing that the issue had been given the seriousness it deserved but President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ought to be bold to sustain and win the fight even if it would cost his political career.
“I expect the President to be very bold and make sure that, look, even if this is going to cost your political career we will see the President that his name will be in the records of our nation.”
He said the nation as a whole should get involved in the matter to deal with it once and for all.