The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah believes that addressing the menace of illegal mining popularly known as galamsey is the first major test for the Akufo-Addo government.
According to him, the media is playing it role effectively in the campaign against the activity but government must take the necessary action to stop it.
In a Facebook post, Mr. Braimah said while the galamsey menace appear complex, it requires a bold, competent and visionary leadership to solve it.
“…we have on our hands now what is arguably the first and major test case of the leadership of President Akufo-Addo. That is the ongoing national crusade against Galamsey (illegal mining).
Almost all our rivers have been destroyed, forests are gone, cocoa farms are gone, lives have been lost and we face the prospects of importing water in the very near future. What makes matters worse is that Chinese (who don’t care and have no basis to care for the future of this country) are the ones in the frontlines of the Galamsey business.”
“Since I grew up, I have never witnessed a case where almost all our major media organisations manage to do away with their competition to focus on a single issue for days. The fight against Galamsey by the media is historic.”
“I have been listening to Citi FM since Monday and their crusade has been compelling and legendary. Just yesterday, all the state-owned media and all the major media groupings in the country launched what they call the Media Coalition Against Galamsey. Today, the Daily Graphic dedicated its major pages to the issue. Kudos to the media.”
“The media are actively doing what they should do – set the agenda, educate the masses about the menace and demand action from the authorities. Will the authorities act?”
Sulemana Braimah said the President must act decisively on the matter given the constitutional responsibility that has been placed on him to protect the country’s mineral resources.
Article 257 Clause 6 of the 1992 Constitution states that “Every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon any land in Ghana, rivers, streams, watercourses throughout Ghana, the exclusive economic zone and any area covered by the territorial sea or continental shelf is the property of the Republic of Ghana and shall be vested in the President on behalf of, and in trust for the people of Ghana,” emphasizing the role of the President in ensuring that natural resources are not destroyed.
Many communities in Ghana are currently suffering the negative effects of galamsey which has left most of Ghana’s fresh water poisonous.
Thousands of acres of fertile farmlands have also been destroyed as a result of galamsey. Although Ghana’s laws are clear on illegal mining the activity, it has been allowed to continue for more than two decades.
Citi FM has been at the fore front of media advocacy and crusade for action against the illegal activity.
President Akufo-Addo has said his government is working to develop a policy that will deal with galamsey in the country but pressure is increasingly being mounted on him to act fast to arrest the situation.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Published on 6 April 2017 | 7:52 pm at Source