The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) wants an immediate ban on all forms of small-scale and surface mining in the country as part of efforts to curb mining activities destroying the environment.
The directive among six others will “allow our water bodies and forests to begin to be restored and strategize a way to bring sanity to all surface mining activities in Ghana”, the Coalition said in a statement.
The group believes that urgent and radical measures need to be adopted by the Government that will result in a positive change in the state of our water bodies and the preservation of our environment.
The Coalition is therefore urging Government as a matter of urgency to:
1. Order all small-scale and surface mining activities to stop IMMEDIATELY to allow our water bodies and forests to begin to be restored, and strategize a way to bring sanity to all surface mining activities in Ghana.
2. Ensure that the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), as amended, is enforced without fear or favour. ‘Powerful’ people involved in Galamsey activities in the country should be exposed and sanctioned to serve as a deterrent.
3. Arrest, investigate and prosecute everyone involved in the illegality including the Akonta Mining Ltd and its Directors, Bernard Bosiako and Kwame Antwi, for illegally mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve as well as breaching (Section 99(6) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), as amended by mining very close along the banks of Tano River.
4. Sack any MCE/DCE in whose areas of jurisdiction illegal mining has taken place and still continues based on evidence on the ground.
5. Ministers and their deputies, whose responsibility it is to regulate the mining sector, have failed Ghana. They must also be sacked for disappointing present and unborn generations.
6. Explore the provision of gainful, alternative employment to persons engaged in Galamsey.
7. Ensure that the above punitive measures are implemented before Farmer’s Day this year as these activities directly impact adversely the efforts of our gallant farmers.
The Coalition maintains there is and can be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to continue in Ghana.
“The Media Coalition Against Galamsey is therefore calling on well-meaning Ghanaians, Civil Society Organizations to join hands with the media to help mount continued pressure on our Leaders, both Political and Traditional, to help save Ghana’s water bodies and preserve our environment for future generations.”
“Losing this war is not an option. Irresponsible and unsustainable mining is an existential threat and should not be countenanced”.