The Media Coalition Against Galamsey has called on the Government to order small scale and surface mining activities to stop immediately to allow water bodies and forests to begin to restore.
The government is also encouraged to bring sanity to all surface mining activities in the country.
The Coalition in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, also admonished government to ensure that the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), as amended, was enforced without fear or favour.
“Powerful people involved in Galamsey activities in the country should be exposed and sanctioned to serve as a deterrent.
“Arrest, investigate and prosecute everyone involved in the illegality, including the Akonta Mining Ltd and its Directors, Bernard Boasiako and Kwame Antwi, for illegally mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve as well as breaching (Section 99(6) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), as amended by mining very close along the banks of Tano River,” it said.
The Coalition also encouraged the government to sack any Municipal Chief Executive or District Chief Executive in whose areas of jurisdiction illegal mining had taken place and was still ongoing.
The government was also entreated to sack ministers and their deputies who had a responsibility to regulate the mining sector but had failed and explore the provision of gainful, alternative employment to persons engaged in ‘galamsey’.
The Coalition also urged the government to ensure that the above punitive measures were implemented before Farmers’ Day this year as such activities directly impacted adversely the efforts of farmers.
The Coalition according to the statement had studied the ‘galamsey’ phenomenon from all possible viewpoints and had concluded that there was and could be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to continue in the country.
It observed that the government and other relevant stakeholders had not demonstrated enough commitment and leadership towards the fight against illegal mining activities.
“We are currently in a worse situation than when we started. For example, the annual average turbidity levels at the Daboase headworks on the Pra river has worsened from 1,180 in 2020, 2,588 in 2021 and 2634 in 2022.
“In view of this, the Media Coalition Against Galamsey believes that urgent and radical measures need to be adopted by government that will result in positive change of the state of our water bodies and preservation of our environment for our survival and that of the future generation,” the statement said.
The Coalition also called on well-meaning Ghanaians and Civil Society Organisations to join hands with the media to help mount continued pressure on the nation’s leaders, both political and traditional to help save Ghana’s water bodies and preserve her environment for future generations.
“Losing this war is not an option. Irresponsible and unsustainable mining is an existential threat and should not be countenanced,” it added.
The Media Coalition Against Galamsey is made up of all media organisations in Ghana – public and private electronic and print media.