Takoradi based News Commentator Jon Hayfron Benjamin, is urging government to reorganize illegal miners in the country in its bid to manage the negative effects of the operations popularly termed “galamsey”.
According to him the current situation is not governed hence the haphazard nature small scale mining is being carried out with its attendant wanton destruction to especially water bodies and farmlands.
Jon Benjamin told Melody News in an interview that government must also setup purchasing agencies for the small scale miners and commit them to pay taxes. He noted that “galamsey is nothing new to us, Ghanaians have had difficult times with employment because the public sector is choked and there are no avenues for our young men and women to get employment”.
He further explained that it should not be the responsibility of small scale miners to reclaim lands they have exploited. He said government could use the taxes from the galamsey operators to reclaim the lands.
“That is why I am saying that they need to be governed, we give them a term, you work this area overtime we would claim it; then we have a buying agency to buy the gold, take its commission, government taxes the transaction then we give you your money, then, life goes on”.
The galamsey menace has generated into a blame game. Politicians are blaming the traditional authorities and vice versa. Youths engaged in the venture are also blaming lack of alternative jobs to live on.
Jon Benjamin thus advocates the need to bring all stakeholders to a dialogue on the menace. He revealed that “the traditional rulers they must also make money, they can even allocate the land…so they are secretly behind those guys who do the galamsey.”
He said the stakeholders should rationalize and come up with ways to coordinate the small scale mining activities such that “we don’t disturb the environment”.
By: Joe Bright Nyarko