Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dissolved the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
IMCIM was established by the New Patriotic Party government to clamp down on illegal small mining also known as galamsey which was causing havoc to the country’s water resources and lands.
The Committee was headed by the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
Citi News understands that the President has also decided to move the fight against illegal mining from the Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation to the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
Sources at the Jubilee House said the President will in the coming days hold a national dialogue with all stakeholders in the sector.
At his last state of the nation address, the President called for a collective effort in the fight against galamsey.
“There is one subject…I believe we the people need to have an open conversation, and that is the phenomenon of galamsey. Should we allow or not allow galamsey,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ has over the past few years dominated national conversations following a major campaign by Citi FM about the devastating effect of the practice.
In 2017, Nana Akufo-Addo declared that he was prepared to put his presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey.
His declaration was amidst new measures such as the deployment of police and military personnel to arrest illegal miners across the country and the introduction of a community mining program aimed at regulating small-scale mining in communities in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Recently, there have been complaints that the water bodies that were regaining their natural state at the height of the fight against galamsey are becoming polluted again due to the increasing activities of illegal mining in various parts of the country.
President Akufo-Addo said the major challenge with the issue of illegal mining in Ghana is the use of technology which has worsened the effect on the country’s environment.
“The illegal mining, that leads to the pollution of our water bodies and the devastation of our landscape. As I have said often, the almighty haven blessed us with considerable deposits of precious minerals there will always be mining in Ghana, indeed there has always been mining in Ghana. The problem we have is the use of modern technology that leads to the illegal mining menace posing serious dangers to our water bodies and the health of our environment. The pollution of our rivers and water bodies has been so acute on occasions that the Ghana Water Company Limited is unable to afford the distilling of water to make for safe drinking,” Nana Akufo-Addo noted.
IMCIM was hit by a number of scandals including corruption allegations leveled against some of its leaders as well as claims of missing excavators seized from illegal small-scale miners.
The then Lands and Natural Resources Ministry in October 2020 said it was working to reconcile the number of excavators seized at the peak of the fight against illegal mining.
At its last count, the then sector Minister, Kweku Asomah Cheremeh, said his outfit had 157 excavators in its possession.
There were 122 excavators in Adentan, 26 in Obuasi, and nine in Tarkwa.