Small scale miners appeal for refugee status in Ghana

By Kweku Antwi Jnr

A group that calls itself ‘Gold Coast Small Scale Miners (GCSSM)’ has appealed to all Diplomatic Missions in Ghana to consider the current predicament of small scale miners and offer them asylum opportunity as an immediate intervention to save their lives.

The group said the continuous extension of the ban on small scale mining, couple with the inconsistencies in the road map from the government, has rendered them hopeless with a bleak future.

The Akufo-Addo-led administration announced the ban on illegal mining activities in the country moment it assumed office in the early part of 2016.

To sustain the fight, a task force made up of police and military personnel, dubbed, ‘Operation Vanguard’ was formed and deployed to all illegal mining areas and communities in the country.

But President Akufo-Addo on June 18, 2018, assured that government will soon put out a statement setting out a comprehensive roadmap, including the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.

“Some of the challenges facing members of small scale mining are huge attracted interest on loans resulting in arrest and court actions, selling of equipment and properties at cheap price to make ends meet, creditors especially fuel station owners hunting and chasing them out of their homes and inability to shoulder domestic responsibilities making way for broken marriages and children school drop outs are all genuine reasons for such call on the diplomatic missions”, he explained.

Mr.Osei Bempah suggested creation of refugee camps just as it did for the Liberian Refugee Camp at Gomoa Buduburam in the Central Region where most of the members who find it difficult to provide even food could wake up every day and join the queue for their morning porridge and evening ration.

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