A Member of the Small-Scale Miners Association, Benjamin Mensah, has accused big men in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of being behind most galamsey activities across the country.
According to him, galamsey is still ongoing in deeper forests across the country and cannot be stopped because most of the NPP Big men are involved in it.
“The small-scale miners have left, but those doing galamsey are still there because of the people involved, the soldiers cannot do anything about it,” he said.
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 on Atinka TV’s morning show, Ghana Nie, hosted by Ekourba Gyasi Simpremu, Mr Mensah said some of the Small-Scale miners whose excavators were burnt were not mining close to river bodies.
He said the Small-Scale Miners who have license to operate do not contaminate the water bodies but those who do not have license are the ones who destroy the water bodies.
He said government after a dialogue, promised to ensure sustainable mining and stop galamsey, but expressed worry over the fact that both Small Scale miners and illegal miners have all been victimized.
Mr Mensah noted that although they were directed to mine 100 meters away from river bodies, some of those who had their excavators burnt were mining about 500 meters away.
“We, the Small-Scale Miners, working with Vanguard formed a taskforce to help fight the galamsey. We heard some people were mining illegally at Gyakubo area and the task force went there to stop them but they were told that particular site belonged to some NPP members,” he said.
He added that,”Our task force were arrested by some soldiers guiding the place, calling them armed robbers and this stopped us from going there.”
When asked if he verified if truly those behind the mining site at Gyakubo were NPP members, he stressed that, “These are some of the things that is making us suffer, even Kennedy Agyapong accused Nana B of doing galamsey. With all the galamsey going on in Ghana, it is the NPP big men that are doing it.”
Mr. Mensah said although the small-scale miners support government’s efforts to arrest persons destroying water bodies, it (government) should have allowed the small-scale miners to do their work and ensure they do not destroy the water bodies.
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