How illicit small-scale mining, sometimes known as galamsey, continues to devastate the country’s environment and fauna is abhorrent.
Every day that goes by, experts worldwide foresee a bleak future for the nation as this horrible crime festers.
Galamsey is becoming more powerful every day in the face of overwhelming evidence of the direction the nation is taking. Many people think the people behind galamsey are too strong and may be exempt from the regulations that regulate the sector.
If so, the consummate businessman Sir Sam Jonah feels perplexed as to “how is it possible that the Minerals Commission seems powerless to stop the activities.”
Perhaps this illustrates how hopeless the situation has become: “those empowered to protect the people looking on, or away, while these heinous activities destroying the very basis of life in our communities are going on?”
In his speech to the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana’s 2023 Annual General Conference in Takoradi, in the Western Region, Sir Jonah, the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, vented his anger.
Mr. Jonah reaffirmed that the laws governing the nation’s gold mining industry are unmistakably clear: “You cannot dig within a specific vicinity of a water body. How you dispose of the trash from your mining activity is quite clearly spelled out in the law. On permissible operations in forest reserves, the legislation is extremely explicit. Foreign nationals are not permitted to work in small-scale mining, according to the law. Additionally, those with licenses are required by law to submit regular reports to the Minerals Commission, which is responsible for overseeing activities.
Even though this is true, Mr. Jonah asserted that “like corruption, illegal mining is not about a lack of laws but rather a lack of will to enforce the laws.”
If this is not the case, “in the age of drones, the Minerals Commission should be capable of monitoring all mining activities in real-time,” he insisted before finally stumping out Galamsey.
Illegal small-scale mining has far-reaching negative repercussions.
The behavior, in Mr. Jonah’s opinion, is “without a doubt the worst assault on public health of our country.”
He strongly supports small-scale mining because of his excellent work in Ghana’s gold mining industry, which has allowed him to recognize the many benefits of small-scale mining above the egregious drawbacks of unlawful small-scale mining. Any type of economic activity that plunders and causes the exploitation of many people is something he detests.
“I have nothing against mini-mining. Instead of destroying people’s health in the foolish scavenging of greed and madness, I support the production of wealth to uplift every underprivileged society. I support legal employment for your legal tender. What bothers me is how easily the country’s rules are broken to contaminate water supplies and the environment for everyone so that a select few can profit.