A legal practitioner, Captain (retd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey has professed his version of how to fight the illegal mining menace and suggested that, “sitting in Accra to ban galamsey is a joke.”
In a radio interview on Accra-based Okay FM on Wednesday, Mr Effah-Darteh said illegal mining was “endemic” because it was easy to find gold in every part of Ghana and hence it was a source of livelihood for the youth.
He said even though there was no gold in the Berekum area where he hails and served as a Parliamentarian, he was aware galamsey was the livelihood of many youths who on a good day, are able to earn Gh¢1000 or Gh¢2000.
And since galamsey was even a threat to licensed and law abiding small scale miners who pay taxes, there was the need to have a holistic solution.
He, therefore, suggested a registration of all illegal miners in the country so that their operations could be monitored and controlled.
District assembly members in his view should be used to facilitate the registration so that non-Ghanaians like the Chinese could be identified and stopped from being registered.
After this, they would have to work in groups of 20s and 50s and assigned operational areas so as to make monitoring easy, he said.
The former Berekum legislator disagreed with the notion that chiefs were deeply involved in the menace since they give out the lands.
Rather, he said since galamsey operators are not organised and controlled, they don’t normally seek permission to enter people’s lands to mine.
He, therefore, advised the campaigners for the ban on galamsey to take their campaign to ‘trenches.’
“In my honest view, if we sit in Accra and legislate to ban galamsey, we would be joking. It is like saying you are banning prostitution. You can control it, but to ban it, I’m afraid because it is something people do every blessed day,” he said.