The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) is urging further stakeholder engagement on the government’s announced roadmap towards lifting the ban on illegal small-scale mining, popularly, referred to as “galamsey”.
It said although it was happy about the provision a blueprint towards the lifting of the ban, this could be enriched.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who is also the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Galamsey, announced the roadmap last week.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, the Convenor of the MCAG, said the strategic plan could be improved.
They would continue to hold the government accountable to its intended actions so that the citizenry would be the ultimate beneficiary.
He added that there needed to be clarity of the roles of chiefs, the MCAG, National Commission for Civic Education, Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and other partners in the implementation of the roadmap.
He said there could not be any doubt that strides had been made and successes chalked, they believed that without addressing critical concerns efforts at stopping the illegal mining could struggle.
There should be timelines for the various intended actions, clearly defined role of the media and strategies to reclaim degraded lands.
“We find it worrying that the roadmap for lifting the ban on artisanal and small-scale mining and the way forward, fails to recognise the role of the media and its contribution to the success of this national fight.”
“The lack of definition of the role of the Multi-sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) that had a wide stakeholder involvement in its discussion and validation, and meant to address issues of sustainable mining practices and alternative livelihoods among others is a matter of concern.”
Mr Ashigbey noted that despite the ban on illegal mining, there had been several reports of galamsey activities within the forests, and these required to be appropriately tackled.
“Our forest reserves are the lifeline of the nation and it would be catastrophic to allow illegal mining activities to go on in our forest reserves unchecked.”