Running Mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has assured the next (NDC) government will prioritize the reclamation of land in the mining sector to protect the environment.
She said the current state of small scale mining in the country was not the best, following the incessant plowing of land for gold and bauxite that has destroyed thousands of hectares of land and several water bodies.
Speaking on Inside Politics on Power 97.9 FM, the former Minister for Education bemoaned the manner in which small scale mining, popularly known as galamsey, was done where disregard for the laws was the order of the day, especially by people who are closer to government.
“We have to ensure that the holes you create on the after mining to ensure that the land is prepared well for trees to be planted…This is how mining is done,” she told host Mugabe Maase.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang indicated that the NDC observed the destruction of lands and water bodies and consulted experts to help with preparing a road map to ending irresponsible mining in the country and save the environment “for our next generation.”
This comes after the flag bearer of the NDC, H.E John Mahama pledged his committment to institute policies that will sanitize the mining industry for the benefit of all.
In his recent visit to the Overlord of Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Mr Mahama noted the current government had seized concessions of some miners who had legally acquired concessions from the Minerals Commission and gave them to their party members, and pledged to get it back to them when voted into power.
“People paid money to acquire concessions legally from the Mineral Commission. When there was a change of government, those concessions, have been taken away from those people and given to those they want to give it to. We’re all one people in Ghana, everyone must benefit from our country, regardless of where you come from. Whether an Ashanti, Akyem, Ga, Ewe or Dagomba, we’re all Ghanaians,” Mahama stated.
He continued, “Lately, they have taken away people’s excavators to give to party members to work. The NDC is, however, saying that, we stand for social justice, so God willing when we come back into power, we’ll correct all these mistakes, we’ll retrieve the concessions and give them back to the rightful owners. We’ll make laws such that the country will benefit from the mining without destroying our lands and water bodies.”
Mr Mahama also revealed that a future NDC administration will ensure that no land is destroyed in the process of mining.
“We’ll introduce cooperative mining so that if these miners have cooperative groups, we’ll get mining safety officers to ensure that they’re doing things right to ensure that they don’t destroy the land in the process. Whatever, it is they make, they’ll save it, they’ll use the resources to ensure that the land is restored. We’ll plant trees on those lands and repay their monies. If they don’t do that, we’ll use their monies to pay for a bulldozer to clear the place and the people who help restore the land.
“There are lots of things we can do to ensure that the country benefits from mining. God blessed us with it so it is pointless using military men to chase these youth to kill them. So as for us, we’ll make new laws to ensure development in our country,” Mr Mahama stated.
By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com