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“We’ll Not Burn Your Excavators Under My Presidency” Bawumia to Galamseyers.

 

In a resolute declaration aimed at tackling the persistent challenge of illegal mining, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stood firm in his commitment to combat galamsey activities in Ghana, assuring stakeholders that his administration would not resort to burning excavators as a means of enforcement.

Addressing a gathering of community leaders, mining stakeholders, and environmental advocates at a high-level summit on sustainable mining practices, Vice President Bawumia outlined the government’s strategy to address the harmful effects of illegal mining while emphasizing the importance of preserving Ghana’s natural resources for future generations.”

Under my presidency, we will not burn your excavators,” stated Vice President Bawumia, underscoring the administration’s determination to find alternative solutions to the galamsey problem that prioritize the rule of law and sustainable development.Illegal mining, commonly known as galamsey, has long been a pressing issue in Ghana, with widespread environmental degradation, water pollution, and social conflicts plaguing communities across the country.

The destructive practice not only poses a threat to the environment but also undermines efforts to achieve sustainable economic development.In his address, Vice President Bawumia reiterated the government’s commitment to enforcing existing laws and regulations governing mining activities while exploring innovative approaches to address the root causes of illegal mining.”

We recognize the need for decisive action to tackle galamsey, but we must also ensure that our interventions are lawful, fair, and effective,” emphasized Vice President Bawumia, highlighting the importance of upholding the principles of justice and due process in addressing the issue.

The Vice President’s remarks come amid growing calls for stricter enforcement measures to curb illegal mining activities, including the controversial practice of burning excavators seized from illegal mining sites. While some have advocated for the use of such punitive measures as a deterrent, others have raised concerns about the potential environmental and socio-economic consequences.”

We must strike a balance between enforcement and engagement, between punishment and empowerment,” remarked Vice President Bawumia, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying causes of illegal mining while promoting sustainable livelihoods for affected communities.

As part of the government’s multifaceted strategy, Vice President Bawumia announced plans to intensify efforts to formalize small-scale mining operations, providing miners with the necessary support and resources to operate legally and responsibly.”

We are committed to creating an enabling environment for responsible mining practices that benefit both the economy and the environment,” affirmed Vice President Bawumia, outlining initiatives to streamline licensing processes, improve access to financing, and promote best practices in mineral extraction and processing.

In addition to regulatory reforms, Vice President Bawumia emphasized the importance of fostering collaboration among government agencies, local authorities, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address the complex challenges posed by illegal mining comprehensively.”We cannot tackle galamsey in isolation.

It requires a coordinated and inclusive approach that harnesses the expertise and resources of all stakeholders,” stated Vice President Bawumia, calling for collective action to safeguard Ghana’s natural heritage and promote sustainable development.

The Vice President’s remarks were met with a mixture of optimism and skepticism from various quarters, reflecting the divergent perspectives on how best to address the galamsey problem.

While some welcomed the government’s commitment to finding alternative solutions to enforcement, others expressed skepticism about the feasibility of achieving meaningful progress without resorting to more punitive measures.”It’s encouraging to see the government taking a more nuanced approach to tackling galamsey, but the real test will be in translating words into action,” commented Kwame Mensah, a local environmental activist, highlighting the need for concrete steps to implement the proposed reforms effectively.

In contrast, some mining industry representatives voiced concerns about the potential impact of stricter regulations on their operations, calling for greater clarity and consistency in government policies to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders.”While we support efforts to combat illegal mining, we also need assurance that legitimate mining activities will not be unduly hindered by overly burdensome regulations,” remarked Akwasi Owusu, a small-scale miner, urging the government to strike the right balance between enforcement and support for responsible mining practices.

As Ghana grapples with the complex challenge of illegal mining, Vice President Bawumia’s pledge to refrain from burning excavators marks a significant departure from previous approaches, signaling a renewed commitment to addressing the issue through dialogue, collaboration, and sustainable development.”

While the road ahead may be challenging, I am confident that by working together, we can overcome the scourge of galamsey and pave the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for all Ghanaians,” concluded Vice President Bawumia, reaffirming his administration’s resolve to combat illegal mining while upholding the principles of justice, equity, and environmental stewardship.

story filed by: Nana kwaku Duah

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