How dear the issue of galamsey is to the nation and, in particular, the affected traditional communities where mining has become a scourge is amplified in the report on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, charging the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, to take drastic measures to address illegal mining and land-related controversies across the country.
As we would recall, the Asantehene made this statement when the sector minister paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace as part of his two-day working visit to the Ashanti Region.
According to the eminent royal, “If managed [galamsey] properly, we can mine without harming the environment. We can also do so by training the human resource to mine in an environmentally friendly manner.”
The eminent chief was also spot on, in his assessment of the industry to improve lives and livelihoods when he stated that “With the acquisition of lands in forest zones, we should go through the procedure, cautioning that “To avert any clashes, your outfit should coordinate for the right thing to be done.”
Mr. Jinapor has already tried courting the support of Regional Ministers to tackle illegal small-scale mining.
Speaking at a meeting with Regional Ministers earlier in March, Mr. Jinapor expressed optimism about winning the fight against illegal small-scale mining if Regional Ministers play an active part.
Mr. Jinapor has been vocal about his commitment to tackling illegal mining since his vetting for his current portfolio.
Thankfully, the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has pledged support to him and urged him to be resolute in the fight against illegal mining activities.
That is why it is imperative to remind Mr. Jinapor of his assurance to the President to commit himself to the huge task before him in minimizing the scourge and maximizing the collective fortunes that mining affords all residents and Ghana, for that matter.
But that is also why in doing that he needs to be guided by the advice given him by one of the most eminent citizens of the land for the benefit of our dear nation.
Since such an opportunity to interact with the Otumfuo is rare, we join all Ghanaians to thank the Otumfuo for his timely advice in the hope that the young man, politician, and lawyer would not disappoint himself and Ghanaians in this critical calling and at such a crucial moment in our history.