OccupyGhana joins galamsey fight with #RedApril campaign



Following reports of the havoc caused by activities of illegal miners also known as ‘galamsey’ pressure Group, OccupyGhana, has joined the fight in a bid to ensure that the menace is curbed.

The pressure group has thus declared the month of April as #RedApril to create awareness about the galamsey menace and to also empower Ghanaians to “speak out against galamsey.”

OccupyGhana in a statement said it deployed a team to ascertain the extent of effect of galamsey, adding that the team’s findings portrayed a dire picture which if unchecked, could destroy the country’s future.

“In October 2016, OccupyGhana sent a team to the Tarkwa area to study and report on Galamsey activities. The OG Team’s report paints a dire picture of the dangerous mix of a vibrant ‘Galamsey Economy’ that exists unrestrained and unchecked and in blatant disregard of the law, a huge industry organised through collusive effort between chiefs, other influential people in society such as politicians, law enforcement officers, farmers and the unemployed  (now financed and equipped by Chinese operators and their Ghanaian front-men or competitors), the ruthless excavation of riverbeds and farms in the search for gold, the ruin of large rivers and streams, lakes and other water bodies (possibly permanently), the creation of gaping holes and concealed residue of mining activity left behind as death-traps, chemical residue that poison the earth and water, and the severe health challenges caused by Galamsey to its actors and others. Ghana is thus, not only being cursed with a future of thirst but also, exposure to cancerous diseases caused by the consumption of food grown on toxic land,” the statement added.

According to OccupyGhana, Ghana is currently sitting on a time-bomb “that is waiting to explode – the desertification, deforestation and degradation of our land, erosion, pollution of rivers and other water bodies, and poor waste management. This cannot be allowed to continue for even a day more.”

Currently, some water treatment plants have been shut down over activities of illegal miners, which have rendered water bodies from which the plants harvest water for processing useless.

Watchers of the sector have lamented that if such activities are not stopped, Ghana may soon be importing water from neighboring countries.

The galamsey menace has also led to the destruction of many farmlands, which serve as livelihood for a number of families.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu has subsequently given illegal miners within the country a three week ultimatum to halt their activities.

OccupyGhana in its statement said it will soon present its findings to the appropriate authorities for redress.

Below is the full statement from OccupyGhana:

OCCUPYGHANA® DECLARES #REDAPRIL IN THE FIGHT AGAINST GALAMSEY

OccupyGhana® has studied the Galamsey phenomenon from all possible angles (social, economic, medical, legal etc.), and has concluded that there is and can be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to persist in Ghana. OccupyGhana® therefore calls on the Government to take immediate steps to,
(i) stop, prevent and then regulate all currently unlicensed and unregulated mining,

(ii) explore the provision of gainful, alternative employment to persons engaged in Galamsey,

(iii) support mass education on the Galamsey menace, particularly through local civil society, and

(iv) be mindful of the potential national security threat that Galamsey poses.

In October 2016, OccupyGhana® sent a team to the Tarkwa area to study and report on Galamsey activities. The OG Team’s report paints a dire picture of the dangerous mix of a vibrant ‘Galamsey Economy’ that exists unrestrained and unchecked and in blatant disregard of the law, a huge industry organised through collusive effort between chiefs, other influential people in society such as politicians, law enforcement officers, farmers and the unemployed (now financed and equipped by Chinese operators and their Ghanaian front-men or competitors), the ruthless excavation of riverbeds and farms in the search for gold, the ruin of large rivers and streams, lakes and other water bodies (possibly permanently), the creation of gaping holes and concealed residue of mining activity left behind as death-traps, chemical residue that poison the earth and water, and the severe health challenges caused by Galamsey to its actors and others. Ghana is thus, not only being cursed with a future of thirst but also, exposure to cancerous diseases caused by the consumption of food grown on toxic land.

Before our very eyes, we are seeing a time-bomb that is waiting to explode – the desertification, deforestation and degradation of our land, erosion, pollution of rivers and other water bodies, and poor waste management. This cannot be allowed to continue for even a day more.

As we conclude our Report for submission to the relevant authorities, we hereby declare the entire month of April as #RedApril. We encourage all well-meaning and concerned Ghanaians, throughout the month, to create awareness and speak out against Galamsey. Let us then observe each Friday in April as a #RedFriday and wear some red apparel to reflect the sorry, new colour of our hitherto pristine water bodies, caused by Galamsey and as an optical and visual reminder to the Government that “our eyes are red” in our demand for immediate steps to reverse this trend.

#RedApril
#RedFriday
#StopGalamsey
#GalawayGalamsey

By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana



Published on 30 March 2017 | 4:48 pm at Source