…Of Illegal Mining, Perennial Floods, Lawlessness, et al. in Ghana

On assumption of office January 2017, the current government of Ghana put rubber to asphalt and hit the ground running in fulfillment of its campaign promises.

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said he was in a hurry to put Ghana back on the road to success.

No government in the 4th Republic of Ghana had grown sufficiently tough skin to squarely take on the menace of illegal mining known in local parlance as galamsey (gather and sell).

Some previous governments had developed cold feet in attempting to confront the practice that has debilitated Ghana’s environment and heavily polluted large areas of water bod- ies, because it is alleged that powerful people of all persuasions have been involved and pro ted in the depict- able practice.

Notwithstanding, the Akufo-Addo government grabbed the bull by the horns to thaw the efforts of galamseyers. The ght against the evil act led to a ban on small-scale mining, reserved exclusively for Ghanaians.

However, the government has indicated that it would soon lift the ban on small-scale mining after policies and guidelines are put in place.

Not so fast, Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has warned, and Amandla agrees with it. We fear that once the ban is lifted, galamsey will rear its ugly head again under a different guise and/or operate shrouded as small-scale miners. That could erase the gains the government has chalked thus far.

The “second coming” of galamsey could be more brutal because the facilitators would aggressively attempt to recoup “lost” revenue through government persecution and prosecution. Amandla would feel more at ease with the lifting of the ban IF the guidelines put in place could be effectively monitored and have some bite behind them.

Another danger that has become synonymous with Ghana is perennial floods. On June 18, ten Ghanaians, including a young medical doctor and a family of three, lost their lives through drowning and electrocution, respectively.

Earlier in its reign, the government promised to make Accra one of the cleanest cities in Africa! But Accra cannot be made clean if garbage and human waste fill gutters and culverts and thus hamper the free flow of drainage.

And then there are those houses built right in the middle of water-ways. Included in this category are fuel stations cited on waterlogged areas and clustered within residential areas. They not only add to the problem of ooding but also pose a clear and imminent danger to life and property. Fuel station explosions are becoming part of contemporary life in big cities and towns.

And yet, there are the issues of notorious land guards, dangerous armed robbers and preventable road accidents. When the aforementioned are curtailed, only then will Ghanaians experience real quality of life, and the wealth and health of the nation will be the envy of other nations the world over.

Unfortunately, though, it seems that we only hear or see authorities in “action” and in the limelight when a disaster which could have been prevented in the first place has been allowed to happen.

We urge the president to be uncompromising in his fight against these social vices irrespective of pressure and influences from politicians, the clergy, traditional leaders, the rich and the famous.

After all, the president has indicated on several fronts that all Ghanaians are equal before the law. And we believe in his pronouncements.

But the president cannot do it all by himself! Ghana is at a crossroads of success or failure, and we have no doubt that the current government will choose the path of success.

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Posted by on Jul 14 2018. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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