Some concerned Ghanaian citizens living in the United Kingdom have petitioned President Nana Addo to arrest persons involved in illegal mining, popularly referred to as Galamsey.
They also demanded the deportation of foreign nationals complicit in Galamsey.
Their petition comes in the wake of an intense campaign against the menace which has reportedly led to the destruction of some natural resources, in Ghana.
The campaign which was initiated by private radio station, Citi FM is gaining more attention as various groups and individuals have joined.
While calling for a mobilization of “law enforcement resources to all threatened areas” to address the problem, they also called for an environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in various areas believed to be affected by Galamsey.
“We are sure you will agree that the accelerated environmental damage is caused by the industrial scale of illegal mining with heavy duty machinery. We humbly suggest that an investigation is conducted into how heavy machinery ended up on illegal and small scale mining sites,” the petition added.
Below is the full petition from the group
H.E. President Nana Akuffo-Addo
We, concerned Ghanaians and Pan-Africanists at home and in the Diaspora, have read and watched with concern reports on the damaging effect of illegal mining on human lives, animals and the Ghanaian environment. We are particularly concerned about ecocide and the pollution of rivers and river beds from mining which has rendered a lot of drinking water unsafe.
The situation has gone on for too long and we know you would like to put an immediate end to the destruction of our environment, especially as we are in the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD).
We respectfully appeal to you to mobilise law enforcement resources to all threatened areas to secure the affected areas as a matter of urgency, and stop all illegal mining activities. The perpetrators should be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law without fear or favour. Foreign nationals found to be guilty of illegal practices should be deported after judicial process.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be carried out to assess the situation, and a plan put in place as a matter of urgency to begin the clean up process.
We are sure you will agree that the accelerated environmental damage is caused by the industrial scale of illegal mining with heavy duty machinery. We humbly suggest that an investigation is conducted into how heavy machinery ended up on illegal and small scale mining sites.
The issue of guns on illegal mining sites raises national security concerns and should also be investigated.
As a permanent solution, the Akoben flagship programme of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be adequately resourced to monitor and enforce compliance with environmental regulations.
Legal mining should also be examined and monitored so that activities conform to the terms of the licence and environmental regulations. It is important that after legal mining activities have ended, the land is safe for social and agricultural use. The practice of leaving concessions legally obtained in an environmentally damaged state should be stopped, and the land left in such that in time it can regain its natural usefulness.
We also suggest bringing in your Manifesto Pledge of One Factory Per District as a priority to Galamsey areas, so that small scale local gold prospectors in Galamsey areas are given an alternative source of income.
In the short term, we respectfully urge that locals are involved in the environmental clean up as an immediate alternative source of income, and as a means of giving them a stake in restoring and preserving their local environment. This, naturally, will be under the supervision of trained health and safety officials of the EPA.
Additionally, safeguarding the livelihoods of farmers in Galamsey areas, and the safety of their lands and waters, should be a priority.
We would welcome your suggestions about what we at home and in the Diaspora can do to assist your valuable efforts, and look forward to hearing about the progress of the Government’s efforts in tackling the issues raised in this letter.
Awula Serwah, LLB (Hons), BL (Secretary, Africans For UK, Member Law 86 Forum Ghana)
Akora Nana Asante (Secretary, IDPAD Coalition UK)
Kwaku (Co-ordinator, African Histories Revisited)
Albert Nii Sai Quarcoopome, Lawyer (Member Law 86 Forum Ghana) UK
Kwabla Senanu, L.L.M (Dundee), MBA (Coventry) DLCLS (Stockholm), BL (Accra), LLB (Hons) (Member Law 86 Forum Ghana)
Nick Nickleton-Kumordjie (Member Law 86 Forum Ghana) UK
Seth Cadman Sackey, B.A. DPA, BL, (Member Law 86 Forum Ghana) Italy
Abu Ferdanando (Race Matters Forum) UK
Ade Olaiya, M.A. Bristol
Andre Dallas (Rhodes Must Fall)
Christopher Jones Thompson (Co-Chairperson IDPAD Coalition UK)
Cecile Olua (Race Matters Forum) UK
Coralie Lolliot Bright (Aspiring Young African Leaders/University of Manchester)
Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye (Mission Dine Club Charity) UK
Dana Mills (Rhodes Must Fall)
Devina Aggrey (Africa Probe)
Dauda Barry (IDPAD Coalition UK Board member)
Dr. Michael McEachrane (European Network for People of African Descent)
Dr. Ricardo Twumasi (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen)
Edmund Cofie (Barrister Nexus Chambers)
Femi Nylander (Rhodes Must Fall, Oxford/IDPAD Coalition UK Board member)
Hebe Perry-Belfrage (Race Matters Forum) UK
Ing. Nana Sarpong Agyeman-Badu (OccupyGhana)
Marc Agagah (Race Matters Forum) UK
Marlene Ellis (Co-Chairperson IDPAD Coalition UK)
Michael Asimah, UK
Princess Ashilokun (Rhodes Must Fall, UK)
Sara Asafu-Adjaye (CitizenGhana Movement, Old Achimotans Association 78)
Saschan Fearon-Joseph (Rhodes Must Fall)
Shango Baku (International Rastafari Writer, Activist, IDPAD Coalition UK Board Member)
Shirley Hinson, USA
Toyin Agbetu (Ligali) UK
Tyrone Smith (Race Matters Forum) UK
Vanessa Abankwah Matthews (Race Matters Forum) UK
Vanessa Mbamalu (Aspiring Young African Leaders/University of Manchester)
Yetunde Zwennes-Kwabwe (Accountant FCCA, Old Achimotans Association 78)
Yvonne Boakye (Old Achimotans Association 78)
Yvonne Twum-Barima (Old Achimotans Association 78)
Hon. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng
Minister of Environment, Science and Technology
Hon. John Peter Amewu
Minister of Lands & Natural Resources
Dr. Toni Aubynn
Chief Executive, Minerals Commission
Togbe Afede XIV
President of the National House of Chiefs
Juabenhene Nana Otuo Siriboe II
Chairman of the Council of State
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana