Hon. Alhaji Inusah Fuseini (MP) Sector Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has observed that escalating illegalities in the small scale mining sector calls for a stronger partnership between government and the National Association of Small Scale Miners (NASSM) to address the growing complexity of illegal small scale mining in the country.
Citing relevant portions of the Mineral and Mining Act 703, Hon Inusah Fuseini stressed that NASSM was established to partner government to regulate the? artisanal small scale mining sector and charged the Executives to bring up for consideration, comprehensive and pragmatic plans to eradicate or minimize the galamsey problem.
?In the interim, l will urge you to involve the District/Regional security agencies to enable you intensify monitoring of artisanal miners to ensure that every miner is duly licensed and operating in accordance with approved environmental standards? declared the Hon. Minister
Hon. Alhaji Inusah Fuseini made the call when National Executives of NASSM led District Executives of its Dunkwa branch to call on him to extend appreciation to the Hon Minister for visiting the scene of mining accident in Dunkwa where 17 galamsey operators perished. Hon Inusah Fuseini toured Kyekyewere to ascertain circumstances leading to the accident? and to commiserate with families of the bereaved.
Hon. Inusah Fuseini described the accident as a major national tragedy and was hopeful that the loss will spur the Association on to step-up its sensitization drive to enhance health and safety standards in the artisanal small scale mining sector.
Recounting the history of small scale mining in Ghana, the Hon. Minister explained that the operations of the early artisanal miners was devoid of the sale of cocoa farms, use of harmful substances, mining in water bodies, etc as compared to current practices which was pushing many rural dwellers to urban centers due to the wanton destruction of the forest and water bodies.
He called for frequent interaction with NASSM to discuss appropriate strategies to assist the Association to carry out their mandate of regulating the operations of its members particularly in the area of reclaiming mined our areas including the refilling of pits.
Speaking on behalf of Association, Alhaji Baba Ahmed, National Organiser of NASSM, thanked the Sector Minister for the warm reception accorded them and registered the Association?s appreciation for equipment as well as vehicle provided for use in the NASSM Headoffice in Accra.
Alhaji Baba Ahmed announced that NASSM would convene a National Mining Forum in collaboration with the Ministry later this year to brainstorm on possible solutions to the galamsey menace and other critical challenges impeding the smooth development of small scale mining sector in Ghana.
The National Organiser pledged the Association?s unflinching support for the Hon Minister and reiterated request for more financial and logistical support from the Ministry to enable them effectively police the operations of the artisanal small scale miners in the country
Established in 1998 to bring all legal or licenced small miners under one umbrella, NASSM which is represented in all 9 mining centres in the country, is dedicated to securing viable lands for artisanal miners and complement government to up-root galamsey in Ghana.