Galamsey cannot be stopped without alternative livelihoods – Former DCE
A former District Chief executive of the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Emmanuel Dede Appiah believes government’s plan of stopping illegal mining cannot be achieved without ensuring alternative livelihoods for the people.

Date Created : 4/11/2017 2:01:41 AM : Story Author : Dominic Shirimori/Ghanadistricts.com

“Conscious efforts must be made to provide these people with alternative livelihoods if government want to achieve any success if the fight against galamsey”, he stated.

He said galamsey is a bread and butter issue that is why despite the high risks associated with it, people continue to risk their lives to do it. “The money they make a day is rewarding. While excavator operators make about Gh¢1, 500, those who carry loads and help in washing make about GH¢150”.    

He believes the practice cannot be stopped entirely because of the cross section of people engaged in the practice including politicians, chiefs, powerful businessmen and women among other. “It can however be minimized especially in areas that result in the pollution of rivers and other water bodies”, he added.

Galamsey activities leading to land degradation

Mr Emmamuel Appiah said illegal miners are not only the problem, adding that for a successful government would have to take assessment of mining in general including large scale mining, small  scale mining and galamsey for any serious impact can be made in the fight against mining operations that has become a bane in the development of the country.

“The people have devised various means of protecting their operations and have penetrated into high places including the security set up so much so that before u move to any site to arrest or stop them, the informants send massages to them and you find nobody when you get there”.

“Come to think of it, before you import those heavy equipment into the country, you should explain the kind of job they would be used for, meaning you should have a company that uses those kind of machines for their operations, so if people are able to import heavy equipment like excavators and transport them to villages, it tells you they started buying their ways from the top”, he stated.

He nonetheless admitted that government has all the powers to do a lot of things, so with the right strategy coupled with finding solutions to what the root course of the menace is there would be some light at end of the tunnel.

He emphasized that the level of environmental degradation and pollution of rivers and streams calls for urgent measures to tackle the problem but “using force will never help because we have tried it but they were always ahead of us with DISEC members as integral part of their broad safety net”.