Environment-oriented NGO, ECO Conscious Citizens Ghana, has challenged claims by President Akufo-Addo that illegal mining has reduced following government’s clampdown on activities of illegal miners.
According to Coordinator for the NGO, Awula Serwaa, illegal mining popularly known as galamsey is still going on with impunity.
“Illegal mining is going on with impunity. The situation is still very serious and everyone can find out. A lot of work must be done,” she told Starr Today Thursday.
President Akufo-Addo during his 4th State of the Nation address today praised his government’s effort at fighting illegal mining.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining has been working hard and has had some successes. Under the auspices of this Committee, the Ministry of Local Government has formulated and is implementing, the Alternative Livelihood Programme in 35 severely affected “galamsey” Districts across the country.
“Last year, 500 youth, mainly engaged in illegal mining, were trained and graduated in vocational and technical skills from Community Development Vocational and Technical Institutions. They have been provided with start-up tools and equipment. An additional 607 youth are currently undergoing similar training, 240 of whom are in the Community Development Institutions, whilst 367 are attached to Master Craftsmen through apprenticeship at the community level.
Operation Vanguard has been largely successful, even though problems still remain. Mining with impunity on water bodies and in forest reserves has declined. More than 4,000 miners have received training in sustainable mining. The number of individuals, dying in collapsed mining tunnels and pits in the few unauthorized locations left, has reduced by more than 90%. Operation Vanguard has been particularly effective in helping to restore the order which has permitted the reopening of the famous Obuasi mine of Anglogold Ashanti,” he said.