Crackdown on galamsey not informed by xenophobia - Akufo-Addo

Speaking on Friday to the members of the Media Coalition against Galamsey, Akufo-Addo said the sweeping clampdown on galamsey is to protect the integrity of the environment.

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play Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
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Ghana's determination to crack the whip on illegal mining (galamsey) is not informed by xenophobia, said president Nana Akufo-Addo, as China takes a strong view of the clampdown on its nationals engaged in mining in the country.

Speaking on Friday to the members of the Media Coalition against Galamsey, Akufo-Addo said the sweeping clampdown on galamsey is to protect the integrity of the environment.

He said the war against galamsey was a battle Ghanaians must win noting that there was a powerful vested interest by faceless individuals who were encouraging the menace which must stop.

The Chinese mission in Accra has condemned what they call a systematic attack on it nationals doing mining in Ghana, saying they are victims of fraud.

Multiple Chinese have been arrested and arraigned before court for defying a ban on mining as well as entering Ghana with fake visas and immigration papers.

play Members of the Media Coalition against Galamsey with the president

 

A powerful Chinese woman behind the illicit mining in the country, Asia Huang, is currently in police cells for mining close to a river in the Ashanti Region.

The Water Research Institution of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has warned that Ghana risk importing water for domestic use in the next 10 to 20 years if mining is not halted along river bodies.

And according to the Water Resources Commission, about 60 per cent of Ghana’s water bodies are polluted, with many in critical condition.

The polluted water bodies were mostly in the south-western parts of the country, where illegal mining activities (galamsey) were widespread, Mr. Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of the Commission said at a workshop in Ho.

President Akufo-Addo told the Media Coalition against Galamsey that his administration is not opposed to Chinese nationals mining in the country but said mining must be done in a sustainable manner.

“We are not against Chinese or any other citizens but what we are all seeking is to protect the integrity of our environment to secure a better future for unborn generations,” the President said.

The president said the government would soon unveil a national plan against galamsey to be announced by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

He indicated that the comprehensive plan detailed a well-coordinated strategy to ensure the end of galamsey in the country and urged Ghanaians to support the government to see the plan through to its logical conclusion.Expressing appreciation to the coalition for mobilising the social conscience of the people, President Akufo-Addo said he was happy to see various interests groups put together to be part of the campaign which for him was a demonstration of how seriously the coalition had taken the menace.

“If we do not make a collective effort to stop it, this would not be a land to pass on to the next generation. Once you have started this campaign, I urge you to pursue it to its very end,” the President tasked the coalition.

He asked the coalition to see the campaign not as a spirit but a cross-country race which should involve all Ghanaians.

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