I never said l’ll ban mining: Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured the people of the Western Region that mining activities will not be banned except that the trade must be practised in a controlled, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
For him, illegal mining popularly known as galamsey cannot be allowed to continue since it has destroyed water bodies and vast forests.
He emphasised that “mining has been conducted since ages and our forefathers had ensured that it does not contaminate water bodies or destroy farmlands. We used to drink from the Densu River but today you can’t because galamsey mining has destroyed the water bodies”.
“I will not sit and fold my arms and allow the environment to be destroyed,” Mr Akufo-Addo reiterated while interacting with chiefs and the people of Wassa in the region as part of his six-day tour of the Western and Central regions.
He refuted claims that he had promised to ban mining ahead of the 2016 polls.
“How am I going to say that we are going to ban mining in a country which was known as the Gold Coast? It is not possible,” he said, adding: “I don’t have the power to ban mining in Ghana”.
“I can’t come to Tarkwa and tell the people of Tarkwa that we are going to ban mining,” he reiterated.
He stated that “what is possible” is the institution of proper policies and systems to curtail the negativities associated with mining and improve on the positives for the benefit of the nation.
To this end, he emphasised on the Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP) – which seeks to sanitise small-scale mining.
He noted that small-scale mining is the preserve of Ghanaians and condemned citizens who serve as fronts for foreigners.