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Gov’t develops policies to deal with ‘galamsey’ - Bawumia hints

General News

The Vice president, Mahamudu Bawumia, has disclosed that government in the coming weeks will introduce policies that will address the menace of illegal small scale mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, in the country.

The Vice president, Mahamudu Bawumia, has disclosed that government in the coming weeks will introduce policies that will address the menace of illegal small scale mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, in the country.

 

The vice president admitted that although the New Patriotic Party government was aware that it would take a lot of political will to deal with some of the policies that would be introduced, “it nonetheless has to be dealt with because the damage caused by galamsey is irreparable if we leave it as it is.”

“So in the next few weeks, you will see some major policies on dealing with the menace the galamsey activities are posing in this country. Even though we know there are some powerful interests groups behind these activities,” he added.

Dr Bawunia made this disclosure when he delivered the keynote address at an event organised by the Institute of Green Growth Solutions last Friday.

 “The case of galamsey is something that we are all witnesses to it very disturbing, if you go across the country and look at what is happening to our water bodies, the president as instituted a major request that we come up with a policy paper some experts are currently working it specifically on galamsey,” he revealed.

Dr Bawumia added that for the country to ensure sustainable management of its key resources, there was the need to focus on three key areas, which are environmental management, natural resource revenue management and value addition.

With regards to environmental management, he asked Ghanaians to consider how they can benefit immensely from the gains of the country’s resources.

 “Next key issue that should be addressed is to what uses we put the revenues we generate from our natural resources including the purposes of maintaining and sustaining resources availability. We must ask ourselves, what is the best way of doing this in a responsible, judicious manner?” he queried.

He added that it was about time the country added value to its natural resources, stressing, “no country has progressed in a transformational way by simply exporting its natural resources without at some point seeking to maximize the benefits along the value chain.”

According to the vice president, Ghana is a resource rich country, reiterating President Nana Akufo-Addo’s stance that Ghana has no reason to be poor “because with the production and discovery of gas, the management of the country’s resources has become more critical to the health of the economy and to the well-being of our people.”

Dr Bawumia added that another area, apart from the degradation caused to the environment, that needed to be looked at was the issue of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

“If you grow as an economy and you have a large section of your economy excluded from the growth process, you are essentially enhancing poverty and that surge for income from jobless youth will lead them into activities that degrade the environment.

“So whilst we try to tackle the issue of galamsey and other activities that degrade the environment, we must think about inclusive growth,” the vice president observed

He commended the institute for contributing to the nation development through influencing policies and practice on natural resource, climate change and energy.