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Boldly fish out powerful interests behind 'galamsey' – GBA tells … – Myjoyonline

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The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has waded into the controversy surrounding the illegal mining crisis, questioning the government’s approach to the fight against the canker.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, October 18, the President of the Ghana Bar Association, Yaw Acheampong Boafo asked the government to target corrupt politicians, believed to bankrolling and profiting from the menace.
The GBA urged “the government to be honest and bold and fish out these evil acts of powerful interests, engaged in the wanton destruction of our environment.”
He stated that regardless of a person’s status or political background, those found guilty of destroying the environment should be dealt with decisively.
“The harmful effects of ‘galamsey’ are all around us, and we cannot gloss over. Land for the cultivation of food and cash crops has been affected. There are studies that galamsey is contributing to death among children. Despite the efforts and assurance of the government to deal with the menace, there appears to be a general consensus that not much has been done to effectively and roundly deal with it,” he said.
In this regard, Mr Acheampong Boafo pointed out that GBA holds the view that a lot more can still be done to effectively deal with a menace that poses a serious threat to the country’s survival, especially in this period of climate change concerns.
“We call on the government, political leadership and key stakeholders to show more political will and integrity in decisively dealing with the galamsey menace,” he stated, adding that, this can be done “if the real powers behind the galamsey menace are identified and dealt with in accordance with the law.”
“Galamsey is a capital-intensive illegal activity. The heavy-duty equipment and other machinery and chemicals used in galamsey cannot be afforded and purchased by the young men or women who get arrested on galamsey sites. These people are not the ones who grant entry permits into forest reserves.
“Galamsey can only thrive if powerful and influential persons of society actively fund such menace. The reasonable and irresistible conclusion is that it is controlled and funded by a network of corrupt public officials, politicians, traditional rulers and wealthy and powerful business interests.
“Indeed, we will be playing the ostrich with our future if we pretend as we are doing at the moment,” he stressed.
He added, “If we refuse to act, the frivolous gluttony of our elite will completely destroy us as a nation.”
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