Galamsey fight: Let’s move beyond rhetoric and take tangible action and policy reform – WaterAid Country Director


The Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Ewurabena Yanyi-Akofur, has called on the government, environmental protection agencies, Civil Society Organizations and all well-meaning Ghanaians to move beyond rhetoric and take tangible action and policy reform to end the galamsey menace.

“The gravity of the galamsey situation demands that we move beyond rhetoric and take tangible steps towards real action and policy reform. We must commit to actionable solutions and follow through its implementation,” she reiterated.

Madam Yanyi-Akofur hinted that the galamsey operations have not only wiped out Ghana’s greenery but have also poisoned its water sources. 

Speaking at the National Dialogue on Illegal Mining, organized by an Accra-based Joynews TV and supported by WaterAid Ghana and the Ghana Chamber of Mines, held at the Labadi Beach Hotel, she said, “We have been here before. We have had conversations on illegal mining. We have discussed solutions and even attempted to initiate measures. These measures were short-lived. These measures yielded temporal results; just as the waters cleared up, the passion to fight illegal mining vanished. We need a strong sense of discipline and commitment to be consistent with our fight.”

She reminded Ghanaians of their collective responsibility in the fight against illegal mining.

“The fight against galamsey should be a shared responsibility, but let’s face it, the power to stop it lies heavily on the government, or, should I say, the politicians. As CSOs and development partners, we will do our part, but it takes a strong sense of political will to stop this once and for all if we are committed to securing the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, illegal mining is a taboo conversation, especially for Development Partners and CSOs. This is because of its politicisation. Organisations stand the risk of being tagged as partisan if they speak up about the chronic inaction on the issue of illegal mining. But if we must be tagged to get results, we should not be afraid to speak up! Future generations are counting on us to get this right! They will be disappointed in our inaction, and posterity will judge us!

WaterAid Ghana, in line with our advocacy priorities and commitment towards improving access to clean water, recently launched a campaign dubbed “Climate Change, Water, and Me”. 

As climate change intensifies the global water crisis, it is our duty to respond with resilience and foresight. For over three decades, WaterAid has been at the forefront of delivering Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programmes, and our experience tells us that improved access to WASH services can build the resilience of vulnerable communities to the worst effects of climate change.

Let me end by saying that illegal mining should matter to you. You might live in Cantonments, East Legon Hills, or Airport Hills, etc., but illegal mining should matter to you because it affects you. What is happening in the Galamsey endemic areas should matter to you. For instance, the poisoning of the water bodies means that GWCL will spend more to treat the water, and this means that you will end up paying for it in higher tariffs.

I could give you a more million reasons why you should be more vocal about your resentment and disapproval of illegal mining. What is going on is an act of violence, your silence supports the oppressors (illegal miners and their enablers). It’s time to act; enough of the rhetoric; let’s get this right once and for all!” portions of the statement by the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana read.