Former Member of Parliament for Akwatia Constituency in the Eastern Region, Mohammed Baba Jamal has blamed government’s ban on small-scale mining as the cause of economic hardship in Akwatia and surrounding communities.
Government in August 2017 imposed a ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to stem illegal mining and reduce its devastating effects on water bodies and the environment.
The ban according to Mr Jamal has affected the livelihoods of the people of Akwatia which is popular for its diamonds.
Speaking to Class News on the sidelines of a press conference in Akwatia on Monday, 17 April 2018, the former lawmaker added that the collapse of the Ghana Consolidated Diamond Limited has compounded the hardship.
He said: “I warned the government that by going on a frontal fight with the small-scale miners and galamseyers you’ll be causing a mess and a problem for the economy. So I advised them to thread carefully which they didn’t do and today we have seen the problem.
“The whole economy of Akwatia today is broken down completely. Akwatia is basically a ghost town, a lot of people are leaving the town because there are no jobs to be done ad these were legal small-scale miners whose jobs have been [destroyed] and so you can’t blame anybody but the government for the economy.
“I told them that if somebody has a mining license and is legally mining, why do you stop him? The sad aspect is that whiles you stop them; we have some foreigners in the system working which is not the best for the economy.”