Government has confirmed it may soon lift the ban on small-scale mining but indicates that it is not for fear of losing the 2020 general elections that decision has been arrived at.
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Benita Owusu-Bio disclosed on Kumasi-based Bohye Fm the decision is based on the fact that the needed structures have been put in place to avert what occurred in the past where water bodies and forest reserves were destroyed.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last weekend in Kumasi announced that his government was in the process of lifting the ban on small-scale mining in the country stating that it was in line with a comprehensive roadmap.
“When the ban is lifted, you will have a responsibility, as was successfully discharged in the days of our forefathers, to continue to help preserve our lands, water bodies and environment,” the President said.
He stressed, “We all have a duty to say no to galamsey for our own common survival and the survival of those who are to come. If we allow it, we are jeopardising both our present and our future. This cannot be over-emphasised.”
His political opponents however argue that his plans to lift the ban is based on the fact that miners appear to have lost hope in his administration for impoverishing them as a result of the ban and threatening to vote against him.
But the Minister told Bohye FM’s Morning Show host Agya Yaw Obeng Preko via phone monitored by MyNewsGh.com that that is inaccurate reaffirming the president’s earlier stance that if he will lose the 2020 elections because of banning galamsey, then he was prepared for it.
“You heard the president the last time, that if he will even lose the next elections because he ban galamsey then he is ready for the defeat. We are in the process of lifting this ban because the structures to safeguard the future of the environment have all been put in place”, he disclosed.
He also noted, when the ban on the small-scale mining is lifted, the District Mining Committees will take over in regulating the activities of these miners.