Small-scale miners help clear ‘galamsey’ sites

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The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) say their efforts have contributed to the activities of ‘galamsey’ operations reducing drastically.

The association has undertaken some initiatives in line with government’s resolve to ensure that good mining practices are adopted going forward.

"We have worked hard to ensure the removal of dredgers from major river bodies, including Birim, Pra, Ankobra, Offin and several others.Illegal mining activities that went on in most of the forest reserves has also ceased due to constant interaction with the ‘galamseyers’” .

According to the association, over 500 excavators have been removed from these illegal mining areas with the help of the Association's task monitoring force in the various mining districts while ‘galamsey’ pits have been closed.

Government issued a three-week ultimatum to illegal miners to halt their operations or face criminal action for degrading the environment and polluting water bodies.

Since the coming into force of the ultimatum, a media coalition of broadcast houses, online platforms, newspapers and other civil society organisations, has been formed to campaign against ‘galamsey’ and that has resulted in many illegal miners going into hiding.

Though the fight is against illegal mining, some civil society organisations and traditional rulers are also accusing small-scale miners, who are licensed to undertake mining, of committing the same environmental degradation crimes as illegal miners.

But the statement noted that small-scale miners do not operate like ‘galamsey’ operators but rather comply with global rules and regulations in ethical mining and are not endangering the environment and river bodies.


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