Illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, continues to be a scourge on our conscience as a nation with huge impact on the environment.
A recent report filed by Erastus Asare Donkor of Luv FM, showed that, despite the many efforts and assurances by authorities to end galamsey, the activities of illegal miners is still going on unabated.
According to the report “Despite the withdrawal of all military personnel from mining sites across the country, Luv News has evidence of over 30 fully armed military men protecting miners degrading the forest of Manso in the Ashanti region”.
It continued “During the team’s journey to this part of Manso and its forests scenes of destruction and degradation were visible from miles away. Abandoned pits and mining settlements dotted the road leading into what is left of the once lush forest”.
This is just one of many such cases occurring daily in our forests, from east to west and from north to south.
Unfortunately, the anti galamsey task force put together by president Akufo-Addo, to see to an end to the wanton dissipation of the forest, has failed to achieve the desired result chiefly because the enforcement part quickly go to sleep, because those arrested are doing the bidding of politicians, whose duty it is to ensure the smooth operation of such a taskforce.
As a newspaper, while we blame politicians for their recklessness and indiscipline in their quest to amass wealth, we are of the opinion that, where the galamsey fight has gotten to, Chiefs in the country, especially in regions where the activities are endemic, must rise up to protect what was bequeathed to them by their forebears.
Galamsey, has assumed alarming rate, because Chiefs in the country have folded their arms over the years, is what has emboldened the politicians, knowing that the worst that can happen to them, is a few media expose’ and the razzmatazz that goes with it.
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, the overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, has provided leadership and direction in many issues bothering on our national lives, what is happening under his watch is an indictment on the work he has done over the years, including promoting education.
Posterity, will not only judge the politicians for failing them, but chiefs, who are supposed to be the custodians of the land.
This newspaper, wishes to appeal to Otumfuo Osei Tutu, to put his foot down and ensure that what happened in Manso, will not be swept under the carpet, because of official complicity.
The Ghana Armed Forces, has issued a statement to get to the bottom of why 30 soldiers, were providing protection to Chinese illegal miners.
As a newspaper, we are not oblivious of past assurances of investigations that failed to see the light of day, 30 soldiers cannot abandon post to go into the forest without the endorsement of their superiors.
The military hierarchy should bear this in mind when they decide to pussyfoot over such a sensitive matter that has continued to haunt everyone, that their involvement when the Operation Vanguard was launched give Ghanaians some hope that, the galamsey fight was going to be won.
We didn’t anticipate that, they will also get their hands dirty, joining the politicians to do what they do best. What happened at Mans is not only scary but also unpleasant.