The Deputy Minister of Lands and Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, has called the bluff of illegal miners (galamseyers) who have threatened to vote out the Akufo-Addo government if it is bent on ending galamsey.
Responding to the threat, Bio said: “If collapsing galamsey will make you vote us out of power,that is fine. We know there are well-meaning Ghanaians who will support us in this cause because we are doing this to save our future generations.”
He reiterated the government’s determination to fight the canker of galamsey after researchers from the Water Research Institute warned that Ghana could be importing water for domestic use in the next 10 to 20 years.
He said: “In 10 years time, we are likely to lose our water bodies due to your activities, so I want to state that the NPP government will not relent on its fight to stop Galamsey now. If because of that you will vote us out of power in 2020, so be it.”
Meanwhile, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has asked the government to expose the “invisible powers” behind illegal mining (galamsey) in the country, saying it is the most potent way of clamping down on the galamsey menace.
In a statement signed by its Deputy Executive Director, Mr Benjamin Boakye, ACEP said: “One major impediment to the success of these efforts has been the invisible powers behind illegal mining activities. Some of the faces that show up in the day against ‘galamsey’ are also the same ones that are, at night, behind the dredging of river bodies, the destruction of cocoa farms and the abandoned pits that serve as death traps in many mining communities.
“If current efforts will be successful, responsibility must be placed right where it belongs. We cannot win the battle against ‘galamsey’ if those held accountable live in Accra and are out of touch with suffering communities.”