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Mining Mahama criticises government fight against illegal mining

The former President, speaking Saturday at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) unity walk in Kumasi, noted that in the past, soldiers were used to chase the illegal miners (galamseyers) but did not yield anything positive.

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Former President John Mahama has skewered the Akufo-Addo administration's fight against illegal mining, saying the use of military will not end the menace.

The former President, speaking Saturday at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) unity walk in Kumasi, noted that in the past, soldiers were used to chase the illegal miners (galamseyers) but did not yield anything positive.

READ MORE: Ban on galamsey cause of hardship - Baba Jamal

He asked the government to come up with a comprehensive mining policy and abandon its current approach to ending the menace which is destroying the environment and the nation's river bodies.

He said: “It is true that if we don’t do something about it, it will destroy the environment. But we need to apply wisdom.

"Because we’ve chased young people involved in illegal small-scale mining with soldiers in the past in this country but it didn’t work."

He continued: "But if we put a blanket ban and send soldiers after the young people, that is not the way to go. As you stop illegal small-scale mining, at the same time you must put in place a livelihood package so that as you are displacing people from illegal mining, they have something to do….

"But when there is nothing to do but you are just chasing them, shooting them, it is not the way to go."

READ MORE: 'Galamsey' will be regularised under my Gov't - NPP

According to him, his administration had developed a comprehensive policy to deal with the menace, urging the government to look for the document and implement it.

“We [NDC] decided that we will bring a new mining law that will regulate galamsey that persons who do it well will be able to sustain themselves…So immediately, the [Akufo-Addo] government must look at these regulations and come up with good policies so that those who want to do it, will do it within the law,” he said.

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