The directive issued by the government to all illicit small-scale miners to cease work has rendered over four million of those miners redundant, Ayaman, a galamseyer in the Amansie West district of the Ashanti Region, has revealed.
According to him, the government should devise a means of differentiating those engaged in galamsey (unlicensed mining) from those operating legally in order to deal with the fundamental problems associated with the activity.
About 400 earth-moving equipment have been voluntarily withdrawn from various illegal small-scale mining sites across the country, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has revealed.
He told Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM’s breakfast show on Wednesday 19 April that the heavy equipment are, however, yet to be handed over to the Ministry.
“We have had some reports that are quite encouraging, about voluntary withdrawal of some of the earth-moving equipment at the sites,” he said.
Mr Amewu, whose 21-day ultimatum to the galamseyers to pack out has elapsed, said: “I expect that at the end of today, there will be a total withdrawal.
“What will follow,” he said, “is that…of course some element of force will need to be applied.”
But speaking on this development in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson on Wednesday April 25, Ayaman said: “In 2016 we voted for Nana Addo to come and stop the harassment that we were suffering at the hands of the joint police-military task force formed by the NDC government and to also provide guidelines to regulate our work, but it seems we are not getting what we voted for.
“We want to appeal to Nana [Akufo-Addo] to deal directly with the illegal miners who are mining in the rivers because they are destroying the water bodies. They should not lump all of us together to say that we are doing galamsey; that would be unfair.
“Now, as we speak, over four million small-scale miners are home because of the government’s directive and so we are appealing to the president to intervene and allow those of us legal miners go about our work.”