Government would fail to rectify the issue of illegal mining if it continues to use its old ‘one-for-all’ approach.
He said the only way to go is to tackle the problem multifacetedly as illegal miners are involved in galamsey for a different number of reasons.
He said, ''when you go into our communities, the miners have reasons for engaging in the activity. Some do that so they will be able to fend for themselves. Apart from galamsey they have nothing else doing because they have no better education. And so, such an individual may need another alternative to survive after he is asked to stop galamsey.''
According to him, galamsey operators have no source of livelihood but that and their motivation is solely to fend for themselves and their families. Furthermore, some have secured no better education for themselves and therefore they would need a replacement after quitting galamsey if the government expects them to survive. He added ‘We should look for a sustainable solution. We should identify those who are not well educated and give them some form of training so they can be self-employed, generate income and be self-dependent’.
''It will not be possible for us to rely on soldiers in dealing with the menace,'' he said.
The ultimatum given by government he indicated has helped in maintaining some sanity but was quick to add that, the illegal miners have seen this kind of approach before and so, I will stress the need for a sustainable solution.
According to Mr. Elimah the currently proposed solution by the government is not sustainable although it has managed to maintain some sanity. Adding that some forces as deployed by the government are not new to the miners.
He stressed the need for the various institutions to enforce our laws and regulations.
''Let us strengthen our institution to help fight galamsey. If they need capacity building, we have to give it to them. If they have to travel abroad and learn from other experiences, they should be allowed to travel. The approach should look at strengthening the EPA and other bodies to help fight galamsey’’
"We also need to regulate activities in the sector and ensure that operators don't destroy our water bodies. The final approach should be on the foreigners. We should use our soldiers to arrest these foreigners...We should ask the Ghana Immigration Service whether these foreigners have work permits’’, he concluded.