The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo leaves Accra today, Tuesday May 2 to visit three West African countries to hold talks with his counterparts on illegal mining, locally referred to as ‘galamsey’.
The visit will take the Ghanaian president first go to Togo, later to Cote d’Ivoire and finally Cameroon.
Sources at the Jubilee House, the seat of government say discussions by the president and his hosts will specifically focus on pollution of some water bodies in Ghana due to the activities of illegal miners.
The move by the President comes days after a powerful delegation from Cote d’Ivoire called on Nana Akufo-Addo at the presidency to express concern about the constant pollution of some of their water bodies due to ‘galamsey’ activities in Ghana.
There has been intense pressure on government to end the illegal practice, and save water bodies and the environment from further destruction.
Currently, some water treatment plants in Ghana have been shut down due to the activities of illegal miners, which have rendered water bodies from which the plants harvest water for processing useless.
Some experts have warned Ghana risked importing water from neighboring countries if the ‘galamsey’ menace is not tackled.
The activities of illegal miners have also led to the destruction of several hectares of farmlands which serve as livelihood for a number of families as well as the destruction of water bodies.
The Ghanaian president, upon assumption of office on January 7, 2017 expressed his commitment to end the ‘galamsey’ menace.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu placed a moratorium on issuing new licenses and renewal of mining licenses in the country.
He subsequently issued a 21-day ultimatum to illegal small scale miners to stop their activities which at the expiration of the notice, over 500 excavators used in the business were retrieved by government.
By Francis Tandoh/NewsGhana.com.gh
Do you have more to share about this story – photos or video etc – you can send them to: (firstname.lastname@example.org)