Galamsey: I’ll involve traditional leaders in granting mining licences – Mahama

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has promised to include traditional leaders in the crucial process of granting mining licences if he emerges victorious as president in the upcoming December elections.

Mr. Mahama said the inclusion of traditional leaders in the licencing process will be a great leap toward resolving the destruction often caused by the activities of illegal miners, popularly known as galamsey across the country.

In an address at the 3rd Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, the former president bemoaned the damage illegal mining has had on other sectors of the Ghanaian economy and pledged to ban mining in water bodies and also restrict the issuance of permits into forests.

“One of the impacts of illegal mining, including galamsey, has been the destruction of forests and cocoa farms. We will protect the destruction of cocoa farms for mining and effectively ban the issuance of entry permits into forests. Mining in water bodies will be outrightly prohibited.

“Recognising the invaluable role of traditional leaders in our society and as a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and respect for all stakeholders, I intend to have traditional leaders included in the crucial process of granting mining licences in their communities.”

Mr. Mahama further underscored the need to “strengthen regulatory institutions such as the Minerals Commission, the EPA, the Geological Survey Authority, and the Natural Resources Universities” to effectively and efficiently approach the fight against galamsey.

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