Political and social pressure group, OccupyGhana, has launched an initiative to create awareness and garner public support to fight illegal mining in the country.
Dubbed “Red April”, the group said members of the public would be encouraged to wear red apparel on Fridays throughout the month of April.
“We hereby declare the entire month of April as “Red April” and encourage all well-meaning and concerned Ghanaians, throughout the month, to create awareness and speak out against galamsey,” it said in a statement issued in Accra last Thursday.
“Let us observe each Friday in April as a ‘Red Friday’ by wearing some red apparel to reflect the new colour of our hitherto pristine water bodies, caused by galamsey,” it said.
According to OccupyGhana, it had studied the galamsey phenomenon from the social, economic, medical, and legal angles and had come to the conclusion that there was no justification for illegal mining to persist in the country.
“As a group, we call on the government to take immediate steps to stop, prevent and then regulate all unlicensed and unregulated mining activities, and explore the provision of gainful alternative employment to persons engaged in galamsey.
The government is also called upon to support mass education on the galamsey menace, particularly through local civil society, while being mindful of the potential national security threat that galamsey poses,” the statement added.
Giving a narrative of OccupyGhana’s activities on the galamsey menace, the statement said in October last year, the group sent a team to the Tarkwa area to study and report on galamsey activities, adding that the report by the team showed, among other things, that the menace of the social canker had aggravated the plight of the local communities.
It described illegal mining as a “time-bomb” that ought to be tackled with tact and the urgency it deserved.
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