Secretary-General of the Mineworkers’ Union, Prince William Ankrah said the union has on countless occasions raised concern about the devastating nature of illegal small scale mining, commonly referred to as galamsey, over a period spanning not less than twenty years.
Thus, it is rather interesting that the menace is attracting national condemnation suddenly, and he hopes that this resolve will curtail the menace once and for all, he told a select group of journalists at a May Day reception.
Mr. Ankrah said it is sad that as a result of the nation’s nonchalance, the country’s water bodies are in a very bad state, and restoring the health of the rivers and streams will not be an easy task. He therefore expressed disgust at perceived diplomatic manoeuvres by some foreign nationals who are neck-deep in the menace.
“Our nation’s laws must work. You can’t go and do that in any foreign country destroying their water bodies and forest cover any how”, he added.
Seven hundred and fifty members of the union from 43 companies attended the reception at Cleaver House in Accra on May 1, which was climaxed with a raffle.
Mr. Ankrah however maintained that we should not just fight those engaged in the activity and believe that is the end of the matter! We must see where we are able to contain artisanal mining, or look for job options for those engaged in the practice.
He lauded government’s zeal at job creation, saying it is key and that all should support the crusade for jobs. He said requires all ideas from all quarters to bring all suggestions on board for both the medium to long term for sustainable job creation.
Mr. Ankrah said job creation will address youth unemployment and asked the citizenry to hold officials to their word in terms of the promises they make.
The leadership of GMWU, has for the past twelve years, organised a raffle as part of activities marking May Day and this was held after the parade at Black Star Square. Items for the raffle draw included four deep freezers, seven micro wave ovens, two table top fridges, 30 blenders, 40 irons, 20 kettles and 20 mobile phones. The rest were 20 wax prints, one smart TV and 10 pressure cookers.
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