The Government’s renewed fight against illegal mining activities in parts of the country has undoubtedly received support from stakeholders who have continuously pledged their expertise to help the exercise succeed.
Traditional, religious, and Civil Society Organizations have continuously learned their support to the Government on how it can effectively and efficiently win the fight it started.
It would be recalled that His Majesty, Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in May this year during Regional Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) in the Ashanti Region, challenged stakeholders to be truthful in the fight against illegal small-scale mining in the country and also urged them to call out persons involved in the act since they’re known.
His Royal Majesty did not mince words when he also condemned persons who participate or facilitate the activities of illegal miners but join meetings and conferences aimed at addressing the menace.
Aside from the Asantehene, prominent personalities in the Ghanaian society have added their wisdom to help the Government to succeed in its efforts to sanitize the country’s mining sector.
It is therefore in place to say that the Government and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources under the leadership of Mr. Samuel Abdullai Jinapor have enjoyed the needed support from all stakeholders including members of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners.
It appears the Government and the Ministry are either not giving attention to the contributions given by the stakeholders or it is pretending to be listening to them whenever there is an engagement.
The advice by the Otumfuo during the Regional Consultative Dialogue for the Government to fish out persons engaging or spearheading illegal mining activities has been ignored.
We as members of the Small Scale Miners believe that the Government is rather charting its own path in the fight and it is doing what will suit it despite the dialogue with other stakeholders.
If the aim of the Government is to succeed in this fight, why will it continue to ignore the collaborative efforts by the stakeholders?
It was clear from the onset that the ban was only on illegal mining activities and not on license small-scale miners who are carrying out legitimate operations.
The indiscriminate burning of excavators which has been criticized by well-meaning Ghanaians is not a dent in the fight against illegal mining activities, but also retardation of the collaborative efforts being made by all stakeholders.
Individuals who are into the rentals of excavators to miners are now reluctant to rent out their excavators because the Government taskforce does not take time to differentiate between those using the excavators for legal and illegal mining activities.
As members of a recognized group who are into legitimate mining operations, we believe the only way the Government can win the fight against illegal mining activities is to implement recommendations by traditional, religious, and other notable stakeholders in the sector.
We remain resolute and we will continue to give out our support to the Government towards its efforts in sanitizing Ghana’s mining sector.
We strongly believe that the fight can also be effective and efficient if the Government gives Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives(MMDCEs) to implement its strategies.