Galamsey fight not yielding positive results- Ken Ashigbey to Prez Akufo-Addo

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The Convener for the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey, says there are lots of empirical evidence to prove that the fight against illegal mining has not yielded any significant gains.

His claim seems to be a direct response to President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that the ban on illegal mining, also known as galamsey, is yielding positive results towards the aim of reducing carbon emissions.

President Akufo Addo, speaking at the 2023 Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, stated emphatically that the ban on galamsey, which has been destroying water bodies and forest reserves, has helped to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

However, reacting to Mr Akufo Addo’s claim in an interview on Citi FM, Dr. Ashigbey said the empirical evidence on the outcome of the fight against galamsey suggests otherwise.

He argued that the effects of galamsey are evident in the rising water tariffs, the number of stillbirths, and child deformities in mining areas due to the pollution of water bodies.

“The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) imposed an increase in water tariffs, and the reason is the cost of water treatment. The chemicals that the Ghana Water Company is using are no longer effective, and we also see situations where there are a lot of stillbirths and child deformities as a result of the polluted waters.

In the recent past, the Ashantihene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, has had to destool some chiefs because of their involvement in galamsey, and we have seen a lot of destruction to a lot of our forests.

We have heard that the Bui Dam is under threat from galamsey. We recently saw the Minister for Roads and Highways cause the arrest of some excavators that were going into the forest. He said that these are people who are not patriotic citizens. We also had the situation where the president had to dismiss the Bosome Freho MCE for confessing to an illegality,” the Convener for the Media Coalition against illegal mining retorted.