The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has rejected proposals for a year-long ban on all forms of small-scale mining.
The Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, who made this proposal, explained that the moratorium will ensure a total review of the small-scale mining regime.
However, in an interview with Citi News, the General Secretary of the Association of Small Scale Miners, Godwin Armah, said community involvement is a more viable approach to the fight against illegal mining.
“I think the ban will not be the way forward. We have to recognize that over the years, we have depleted the forest cover of our country. The statistics are frightening and indeed with all that has gone on since independence. The unsustainable harvesting of our forest reserves, the felling of trees, and the lack of aggressive afforestation have resulted in the depletion of the forest cover of our country.”
“The adverse consequences of the situation are dire. The time for action is now. We need to do something drastic about it and this is why, in accordance with the vision of the President, we have developed a two-pronged strategy to reverse the situation.”
The Okyehene’s suggestion comes at a time when the government has renewed its fight against illegal mining, which has led to the destruction of excavators and other equipment used for illegal mining activities.
This action has been widely condemned by some persons who believe the seized equipment could serve other useful purposes, but the President has justified the move, daring persons who have been affected by the exercise to seek legal redress.
Small-scale mining activities were suspended for over a year to sanitize the sector and to deal with the menace of illegal mining head-on. But even after the long ban, illegal mining still persists, compelling the government to escalate its efforts in a renewed fight.
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