A Deputy Minister of Information, Fatimatu Abubakr has said intelligence gathering is an important factor of the fight against illegal small scale mining (Galamsey).
She assured that the government is determined do all it can to tackle the menace.
Madam Abubakar said these while speaking on the Sunrise show on 3FM Tuesday October 11.
“We cannot move the whole military into the mining areas. We need to solve this problem. There is so much that we need to do and I can say that the president is committed to fighting corruption.
“We need a proactive response and not a response to response. We need intelligence and intention to fight this galamsey menace.
“We have a lot of kidney and liver diseases as a result of this illegal mining,” she said.
Last week, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo admitted that the fight against Galamsey has not been an easy one.
He said he has not achieved the results he was looking for in the fight but the government is determined to win the battle against the menace.
“Since I took office I have made it a central feature of my presidency to lead in the efforts to rid our country of this menace which we all now call galamsey. It has not been popular and we have not got the result that I was looking for,” Mr Akufo-Addo said during a meeting with the National House of Chiefs and the Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Kumasi on Wednesday October 5.
He further told the National House of Chiefs that the task to protect the lands and the environment from the effect of Galamsey is a joint responsibility between the government and the traditional authorities.
Mr Akufo-Addo explained that 80 per cent of the lands in Ghana are in the custody of the chiefs.
This means they have a role to play in protecting the resource, he said.
He said “80 per cent of the lands in this country continue to be under your custody, much of it having been acquired through the blood and sacrifices of your ancestors. The reminder of 20 per cent which I hold in trust of the people of Ghana, derived from state acquisition from you. What this means is that ultimately, the welfare of the state of the lands is our joint responsibility, although by statute the minerals in the soil belong to the president in trust for the people.”
The chiefs on their part assured Mr Akufo-Addo that they are solidly behind his administration to apply appropriate measures against all persons involved in Galamsey in the country.
President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyeb indicated that galamsey is having a negative effect on the environment and also threatens revenue mobilsation in the country hence, their resolve to support the President and government in fighting it.
He said “your relentless war against forest degradation and illegal mining in Ghana is of great importance to Ghanaians especially we the chiefs.
“The effects of illegal mining on the environment threaten the survival of water bodies , farmlands, cocoa industry and even encouraging school dropouts, this undermins the revenue mobilsation drive in the country.
“In view of this development [the Chiefs] are solidly behind your administration to apply the appropriate sanctions against persons who are engaged in the practice illegal mining irrespective of their status.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana