The Twifo Praso Zonal Chairman of the Small-Scale Miners Association, Mr John Kodah has urged government to adopt a technique of dialogue in its quest to fight galamsey instead of involving soldiers and guns.
According to him, the galamsey fight is a social problem which can only be solved through dialogue and not through violence.
“I want to tell government that galamsey is a social problem. There is no social problem that can be solved with guns and soldiers. It is all about dialogue,” he said.
Mr Kodah added that,”Small Scale Miners is a regulated body. Small Scale Mining is an Act of Parliament, Act 2006, Act 703 mandates the Minerals Commission to give out concessions for miners to work, when you come to our site, you will notice that we do our work diligently.”
200 soldiers were deployed by the Government to halt all illegal mining activities across the country and to protect the water bodies which have been soiled as a result of galamsey.
The operation commenced on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021, on the River Pra in the Central and Western regions of Ghana.
It was reported that through the operation, some excavators belonging to both galamseyers and Small-Scale Miners were burnt.
Speaking with Ekourba Gyasi Simpremu on Atinka TV’s morning show, Ghana Nie, Mr John Kodah cried that despite having a licensed concession, his four excavators had been burnt.
He said when the soldiers approached him to burn his excavators, he told them that he had a license and had obtained the concessions through that with over 300 workers and about 60 trainee workers, therefore was not doing it illegally, but the soldiers did not listen to him.
“When I got to the site, I saw about 100 soldiers, I approached the Commander and told him the place was a licensed concession, I had my documents in the car and I could show him but he said he did not come there because of the documents and that the instructions given to him was that they should destroy everything there,” he said.
He said the National Body later sent a technical team to survey the site and noticed his concession was not close to any river body, specifically 500 meters away from the river bodies and were therefore surprised his excavators were burnt.
He said as an Association mandated by law, they will hold a press conference on the way forward.