Small-scale mining should be banned – Ken Agyapong
Outspoken Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong is hinting Ghana will soon be inhabitable if the ban on small-scale mining is lifted.
He explained that, the poisonous footprints illegal mining has left in the country’s water bodies and soils is dire to sustain anyone in the next 50 years.
Ken Agyapong’s comment comes after government announced a roadmap towards the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.
In March 2017, the government placed a ban on illegal mining following a wave of media campaign on the menace that has left many water bodies polluted and farmlands with deep trenches.
The dates for the lifting of the ban have been postponed more than three times. The government’s decision has over the period attracted a backlash from small-scale miners who insist that they had licence and operated within the legal environmental requirements and that their rights had been trampled upon. Many have been rendered jobless.
At a forum on the roadmap in Accra on Friday August 17, 2018, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng hinted the ban could be lifted in December.
He noted that, the checklist to guide the decision by the government to lift the ban would include the removal of all earth-moving mining equipment within districts to designated areas to be announced next week.
But on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, Ken Agyapong appealed to President Akufo-Addo not to kowtow to political pressure.
He said the lands, water bodies are key to the success of this country therefore it they are destroyed, “very soon there would be no food or water to drink”.
The Assin Central MP said most of the small-scale mininers are engaged in illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
Citing his constituency as an example, he revealed that a chief was given just GHC2000 and a ram to mine in the Pra river.
“We need to support President Akufo-Addo in the fight against illegal mining and stop the politics” he fumed.
He stated that, not until there was permanent improvement in the country’s water bodies, the ban would not be lifted.
Ken Agyapong expressed his support for the government’s decision to continue with the ban on small-scale mining, until the country’s water bodies are clean and safe for use.
“What does it profit a Ghanaian to make all the money, fall sick and the money cannot even save you” he quizzed.
The outspoken MP advised the small-scale miners to establish joint-venture companies to engage in large scale mining.