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Galamsey still ongoing with impunity - Env. NGO argues claims by Akufo-Addo

By Wendy Amarteifio
Galamsey still ongoing with impunity - Env. NGO argues claims by Akufo-Addo
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An Environment-oriented NGO, ECO Conscious Citizens Ghana has argued claims made by President Akufo-Addo that efforts by his government has reduced the activities of illegal miners to curb the menace in the country.

According to ECO Conscious Citizens Ghana, illegal mining is still ongoing and the situation has become serious.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address today in Parliament, the President specifically said mining with impunity in river bodies has drastically reduced.

Reacting to the President's statement on Starr FM today, Coordinator for the NGO, Awula Serwaa said illegal mining is still going on with impunity.

“I can't say that we have people on the ground at every spot. But the information we are getting is that the situation is still very serious. In fact, illegal mining is ongoing with impunity. Just over the weekend, there were reports about illegal miners at Atewa forest and they were saying they were been intimidated by some miners who were been protected by individuals in military attire. So the situation is still very serious'' .

''Water bodies are still not how they should look like. The Water and Sewage in a report said if illegal mining continues at this rate they will soon not be able to purify the water. The mining activities are devastating our waters and am happy that work is being done but sadly much more robust work needs to be done to see some great improvement'', she added. 

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Again, President Akufo-Addo during his address today indicated his government’s effort at fighting illegal mining in the country

''Operation Vanguard has been largely successful, even though problems still remain. Mining with impunity on water bodies and in forest reserves has declined. More than 4,000 miners have received training in sustainable mining. The number of individuals, dying in collapsed mining tunnels and pits in the few unauthorized locations left, has reduced by more than 90%. Operation Vanguard has been particularly effective in helping to restore the order which has permitted the reopening of the famous Obuasi mine of Anglogold Ashanti''.

The President also made the assertion that unlike the NDC that gave up the fight on illegal mining when they were in government, the NPP decided to fight the menace after winning power.

Akufo-Addo explained that the NPP government after coming into office realized that the issue of galamsey was systematically degrading and polluting the country’s forests and water bodies and therefore decided to save the situation for generations unborn.