The Galamsey Fight, To Be Or Not To Be?
It was a hot afternoon on May 29, 2017. All was going well, or was it? At least people were going about their day-to-day activities, minding their businesses and ensuring that they were meaningfully engaged so they could put food on the table. News soon started trickling in on a heinous crime that had been committed; a military officer had been lynched in cold blood.
As a leader of his team, Maj. Mahama had been detailed to the Central Region, Upper West Denkyira precisely, to help fight galamsey. For the uninitiated, galamsey is the practice of engaging in unregulated illegal mining in the most unacceptable ways, with dire effects on the environment. In their effort to avert the local actors in this business, a false alarm or so was blown to put him on the spot. A number of inhabitants pounced and lynched him, and that was how Maj. Mahama met his untimely death.
Many indirect martyrs have suffered the same or similar fate simply because they wanted to serve mother Ghana. The issue of galamsey is one that cannot be treated with kid gloves. In June 2010, over 100 people died in a single galamsey related incident. Again, the Ghana Water Company Limited claimed that its budget for water treatment had increased astronomically because of soaring turbidity levels. A news portal reported in April 2021 that “the acceptable turbidity level should be around 500 units but the water company is recording turbidity levels of 3000 units in most areas.” That is a whopping 500%. Simply unacceptable!
When you grow up with the reality of hardcore poverty and lack, any option to make wealth may not be too costly to promulgate.
Again, the practice of leaving the pits uncovered has contributed to the death of many who, had they been still alive, would have contributed to the development of the country in their own ways. Talk less of how the gold that is mined is mostly smuggled out of the country, so that Ghana is cheated out on direct foreign exchange. The issue of tax evasion is still on the table too.
Going through certain communities in galamsey areas, the sorry site of cocoa and other crop farms being overturned into mining sites without any plans for land reclamation is too appalling. Houses and road networks are all not spared in the quest to mine at any cost. Research is actually exposing the danger of deformity and other health-related challenges prevalent in these communities. Continue Here