Don’t rush to lift ban on small-scale mining – Abass Moro
It should make sure that adequate measures were in place to protect the environment – stop the destruction of the water bodies, forests and farmlands before doing that.
Mr. Abass Ibrahim Moro, the Industrial Relations Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat of the Ghana Road Transport Union (GPRTU), made the call through the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
This comes amid indications by the government that the ban could soon be ending.
He said the activities of the small scale miners needed to be streamlined to conform to globally-accepted environmental safety standards.
He expressed strong support of the GPRTU for the government’s efforts to reclaim mined out lands and safeguard the environment.
Mr. Moro said “I don’t think the negative impact of illegal mining on the environment which necessitated the ban had been successfully dealt with”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently served notice of government’s intention to lift the ban on small-scale mining within the framework of a comprehensive roadmap to restore sanity to the sector.
Opening a two-day sensitisation workshop on the elimination of illegal mining in Ghana for traditional and religious leaders, he said the temporary ban on ‘galamsey’ was supposed to be a measure to streamline the small-scale mining sector.
He gave the indication that the government would soon make a clear statement setting out a comprehensive roadmap to include the lifting of the ban to deal with the ‘galamsey’ menace on a permanent basis.
The roadmap would address among other issues, reforestation and reclamation of destroyed lands, restoration of water bodies, strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licenses and associated permits and the establishment of a mercury pollution abatement project.
There would also be the implementation of alternative livelihood project for the illegal miners and the systematic control of the engagement of excavators in mining areas.
“When the ban is lifted you will have the responsibility to preserve our lands, water bodies and environment. We all have a duty to say no to galamsey for our own common survival and the survival of those who are to come after us,” President Akufo-Addo told the traditional rulers.
The government imposed an initial six-month ban on small-scale mining activities in 2017 and the ban has since then been in force.