THE PRESIDENT, Nana AddoDankwa Akufo-Addo has said a roadmap would soon be announced by his government to lift the ban placed on small-scale mining in the country.
According to the President, the ban enforced a year ago was a temporary measure to deal with illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, meant to help government streamline and sanitise the small-scale mining sector which was destroying the country’s water bodies.
The President explained that it took boldness to ban the trade because any further delaywould have placed a permanent threat to the present and future health of the nation.
He mentioned that the roadmap would address the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined out areas, restoration of impacted water bodies, strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licenses and associated permits.
Others, the President said were the establishment of a mercury pollution abatement project, the implementation of an alternative livelihood project, standoff control of the engagement of excavators in mining areas and the continued formalisation and regulation of the small-scale mining sector.
In his speech, President Akufo-Addo identified various programmes his government had put in place to deal with galamsey.
He said the launch of Operation Vanguard on July 31, 2017, a force comprising officers and men from the military and police service, tasked to prevent further pollution of water bodies and land degradation, had been, to date, a considerable success.
He said the training of small-scale miners in sustainable mining methods at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa where 600 miners were trained on sustainable practices would reduce the threat.
According to the President, this necessitated the regular interactions between the Inter-Ministerial Committee and the Small-Scale Miners Association to craft a code of practice for small-scale mining operations.
From the above narrative, efforts are clearly being made by the government to fix the galamsey menace.
The Daily Heritage urges the government to do even more to streamline the system and speed up in lifting theblanket ban on small-scale mining.