Ellembelle MP calls for better approach to mining at local level


Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembelle, has called for a new and better approach to dealing with local level mining in the country.

“The old approach has not stopped illegal mining activities and destruction of the environment, especially water-bodies – which is having negative effects on the health of individuals,” he said.

According to him, there is a need for government and actors in the industry to implement guidelines from the manual governing Community Mining; which are very thoughtfully planned for giving direction.

He pointed out that all community mining schemes across the country are total failures. “It is just a name, they are all galamsey with sanction from government – destroying land and cocoa farms”.

The Deputy Minority Leader was speaking to media at Aluku in the Ellembelle municipality of Western Region to assess the extent of damage from illegal mining activities on the area’s environment.

He said although there have been a lot of measures to fight illegal mining activities in the country – such as ‘operation vanguard, gallam stop’ among others – these have never helped to curb illegal mining in the country.

Every district, he said, has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minerals Commission, Mineral Inspectorate Division office among others. How do you give licence for people to come and prospect, allowing them to destroy land and water-bodies? There is no proper reclamation plan for the so-called community mining.

“The time has come for us as a community and people in this area to take our destiny into our own hands, if we think government can’t give us some solution to the devastation. Already, the medical effects are showing at Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in terms of babies born with defects and the dangers from pollution in water-bodies. Mining is going on in other countries but they are not destroying their water-bodies.

The Deputy Minority Leader asked: “How do you give licence for people to come and prospect and they start to destroy everything – our land, water-bodies, cocoa farms among others – and you do not come and check if they are doing the right thing?”

This system, he said, is not working: “I am calling for a stakeholder meeting with the chiefs, DCE, EPA, assembly members among others without finger-pointing. NPP did this, NDC did that has never worked for us as a country. Let us find a better solution to ensure the right thing is done for the sake of our country.

“Let us do mining that will protect the environment and our water-bodies for the health and safety of us all,” he concluded.

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