A former New Patriotic Party Communications Officer for the Western Region Okatakyie Henry Amankwa Afrifa has described as hypocritical, the conduct of a press conference by the opposition National Democratic Congress undertaken over the weekend, on the extent of environmental degradation resulting from the galamsey menace.
The National Communications Director of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi at the press conference held in Twifo Praso alleged that, the ruling government has failed to genuinely fight the galamsey menance, adding it has since the crusade been dabbling in the very crime it seek to eradicate.
Mr Okatakyie Amankwa in a sharp rebuttal, stated that the NDC should be held accountable for mess that has befallen the country.
“Who brought in the current style and technology of doing galamsey? People have forgotten that whether galamsey or small scale mining it is the same. Galamsey is just illegal small scale mining and their normal small scale mining is the legal one. But the process of operation and everything is the same. Have Ghanaians asked themselves in what regime did people start mining on river and what our bodies.
“Because for years, so many years ago nobody was mining on a river and what are bodies. It was between 2012 and now that people started mining on water bodies and who gave room for that? Who was in power at that time? In whose regime did thes Chinese people who brought in this technology came? Sometimes people should not be hypocrites for political benefits” he questioned.
He thus, challenged the NDC to proffer a single solution to address the challenge.
“I’m challenging them. Let them come with thier plan for the fight of galamsey. They should bring it right now. They say they are writing their manfesto. They should let us know how they are going to deal with this galamsey menace. They should come and they should stop the comparison that but they are doing. Something you have spoilt… when were there long ago, President Kuffour’s time long ago when we were doing galamsey, was somebody’s going to do mining on water bodies? It was during their [NDC] time and now you’ve gone to stand at Praso and you talking something that you do understand. I’m challenging them, they should come up with their solution for this galamsey fight” he fired at the NDC.
Mr. Okatakyie Amankwa believes government is doing its best to address the galamsey menace. He however expressed some concerns with the approach taken by the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining.
“To me the methods being used by the IMCIM, I think it’s slow. We will gain the results or the success in the long term. I see it to be a long term approach. They should have known that Ghana’s need a short term strategy. And because the president also put on his presidency on the line, they should have done broader consultations with stakeholders and come up with a short term approach to the whole issue” he said.
He proferred that, government considers reclassifying the mining sector just as the roads sector, to allow for an efficient regulation of the industry.
“There is the easiest way is for us to start considering the mining sector like the road sector where we have highways and urban roads, feeder roads and those things. The mining sector, it’s time that we classify the mining sector as small scale, medium scale and large scale. We don’t have a problem with large scale mining. It is the small scale mining that we are having issues” he mentioned.