Fight galamsey menace with tact, not violence – Kwesi Aning urges Gov’t

Security expert, Dr. Kwesi Aning, has urged government and other stakeholders in Ghana’s mining sector not to resort to the use of violent means in addressing the phenomenon of illegal mining, popularly know as galamsey in the country.

According to him, galamsey has grown to become a major source of livelihood for many people, hence stakeholders must apply some tact in dealing with it.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Dr. Aning said “I’ll plead with those who matter in the decision making that they should not be violent, because galamsey has become people’s livelihoods over twenty years, we need a dialogue kind of process and a bold attempt at finding alternative livelihood to let people change what they have been doing. Any attempt at using a violent intimidating means will end in some bloodshed and I think we’ve already heard, seen and experienced some.”He noted that, the activities of galamsey operators was backed by a strong network of people within and outside the country, which makes dealing with it more complex than it appears.

“Since this menace has spread all over this country; it has some really strong network both domestic and international. I will argue that we need a conversation around changing the activity and replacing them with other less environmentally harmful activities.”

He said proper intelligence must be gathered to identify all the players in the galamsey ring and their mode of operation to make a fight against galamsey successful.

“In trying to come to grips with the galamsey, we need to use intelligent approaches to identify the network that underpins, supports, incentivize, purchase and smuggles this gold outside this country. This is a much bigger problem,” he said.

“Galamsey is an existential threat to Ghana and to our communities, but in dealing with this kind of particular existential threat, violence is not the first strategy that we need to use because the state of Ghana has not mapped out the problem in the first place,” he added.

The government is being confronted with the challenge of galamsey in the country, which has resulted in Ghana losing most of its fresh water bodies and fertile lands.

Many communities have been devastated by the lasting negative impact of illegal mining.

In spite of the fact that Ghana’s laws are clear on illegal mining, the activity has been allowed to continue for more than two decades.

Citi FM has been at the forefront of media advocacy for a decisive and firm action from the government in dealing with the menace with various inside and out-of-studio events.

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has said his government is working to develop a policy that will deal with galamsey in the country.

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