President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for an honest conversation about illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) in Ghana.
He noted that mining is a phenomenon that must be existent because the country has been bestowed with minerals that must be used to its benefit.
When President Akufo-Addo assumed office in 2017, he vowed to fight against galamsey even if it costs him the chance to be re-elected for a second term.
Several task forces were set up in that regard but the galamsey fight lost steam after some time.
Upon securing a second term, President Nana Akufo-Addo has told Parliament in his last State of the Nation Address of his first term that: “There is one subject about which I believe we, the people, need to have an open conversation, and that is galamsey. Should we allow or should we not allow galamsey, the illegal mining that leads to the pollution of our water bodies and the devastation of our landscape?”
“As I have said often, the Almighty, having blessed us with considerable deposits of precious minerals, there would always be mining in Ghana. Indeed, there has always been mining in Ghana,” he said.
The President, however, reiterated the ills of illegal mining, while stressing the need to openly address the issue devoid of partisan political interests.
“The problem we have is the use of modern technology that leads to the illegal mining methods posing serious dangers to our water bodies and the health of our environment.
“The pollution of our rivers and water resources has been so acute on occasion that the Ghana Water Company is unable to afford the distilling of water to make for safe drinking”, he noted, adding that: “We have to talk about galamsey. We, who are leaders, owe it to the country to take the subject out of the party-political arena, and have an honest conversation about this menace to our future”.