The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has admitted that the government is currently failing in the fight against illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
He, however, said that the government remains unwavering in its resolve to stop ‘galamsey’ and it is confident that it will end the menace soon.
“… yes, you say that we have failed in galamsey but it is an ongoing battle. And we think that, as a government, we are going to win at the end of the day.
“Because there is a lot of goodwill amongst the stakeholders. The traditional authorities and other stakeholders know the harmful effect of galamsey on all aspects of life. So, ultimately, we will get together to control it,” Dr. Afriyie Akoto told journalists at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, October 10, 2022.
The minister also refuted the assertions that ‘galamsey’ is crippling Ghana's food production and has particularly destroyed many cocoa farms, leaving just a little.
“… if you are talking about little of cocoa, it is not a little. Galamsey is nibbling at the edges because COCOBOD has done a survey which shows that 2 percent of areas under cocoa are being affected by galamsey. 98 percent is not little left,” he noted.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has refuted suggestions that his government is not committed to the fight against illegal small-scale mining (‘galamsey’).
According to Akufo-Addo, his government has been committed to the fight against the menace since his first day in office and its determination to curb it even cost his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), some votes in the 2020 General Elections.
The president, who made these remarks at a meeting with the National House of Chiefs and some Municipal Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Kumasi, intimated that the votes he and his party lost showed that he really put his presidency on the line to fight 'galamsey'.
"Since I took office on January 7th, 2017, nearly six years ago, I have made it a central feature of my presidency to lead in the fight to rid our country of this menace, which we all now call galamsey. Indeed, it was an important aspect of my inaugural address that day. It has not been easy; it has not been popular and we have not gotten the immediate results that I was looking for.
“Indeed, in the last election of 2020, my stance on the issue cost my party and I significant losses in the mining communities. It turned out that my statement that I was putting my presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey was neither bumbazed nor reckless. It was the simple truth,” he said.
Akufo-Addo also urged chiefs across the country to get themselves into the fight against illegal small-scale mining since they are the custodians of land in the country.
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