The Concerned Small-Scale Miners Association of Ghana has reacted to the government’s decision to reclaim and revegetate mined-out areas in the country.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor announced that government will begin a programme dubbed “Reclamation of Degraded Lands” which seeks to reclaim degraded lands caused by illegal mining.
However, President of the Concerned Small-Scale Miners Association of Ghana, Michael Peprah, reacting to this news says government must take the blame for these degraded lands borne out of illegal mining.
According to him, the government’s approach to fighting galamsey rather posed the problem of uncovered pits.
He explained on the Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun, “We have had decisions that have not helped the mining profession. Immediately the government notices that the media is backlashing them, they quickly order miners to halt their work and leave sites. They threaten to burn their tools. Indirectly, they help miners who dig big pits to flee from the site without reclaiming the land. When the miner leaves, he doesn’t make sure the land is reclaimed and then he moves on to another land then the same cycle continues. So, who is the causative agent for these uncovered pits?”.
Per his opinion, the government should have given a month ultimatum to all miners to cover the dug-out areas after mining.
Michael predicted that with the announcement of this programme, the government is going to spend a lot of money in reclaiming lands when those who are supposed to take responsibility have gone scot-free.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor disclosed the decision to reclaim degraded lands when the West and Central Africa Regional Director of the International Union for Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Mr. Aliou Faye paid a courtesy call on him on Monday, 20th September 2021 to discuss the operations of the IUCN in the country.
The minister further called for closer collaboration between the Ministry, the Forestry Commission and the IUCN to move the quest of protecting Ghana’s forest cover and the general environment forward.