We’ll establish a joint action team to reclaim destroyed ‘galamsey’ lands – Mahama

John Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, has lamented the damage caused by illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey and has proposed to establish a national joint action team on mining and forestry to tackle the canker if he wins the December 7 presidential polls.

Mahama in an address at the 3rd Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, said illegal mining has left Ghana with serious scars that demand collaboration and drastic measures to nurse the damage caused.

“At the same time, we cannot overlook the years of galamsey activities that have left our country with serious legacy scars. We propose some initiatives to restore degraded lands, rehabilitate impacted forests, and clean our polluted water bodies. These initiatives will restore the environment and create thousands of jobs in the affected mining communities.

“We will establish a National Joint Action Team on Mining and Forestry, a collaboration between the Forestry Commission, the Private Sector and SSM operators to rehabilitate impacted forests. This initiative will also create thousands of jobs in the affected mining communities.”

Mahama indicated that the joint action team will be tasked with reclaiming and rehabilitating destroyed lands and converting them into production zones and different crop plantations, which he said will be funded through “special fees from the Minerals Commission, contributions by the [Small-Scale Miners] SSM Association, and interested plantation companies.”

He added that a #Atree4life initiative will also be launched in mining communities to encourage the youth to venture into the planting of economically viable trees to help check the destructions.

“A Galamsey Rehabilitation Initiative will work to convert impacted lands into commercial crop production zones, such as palm, shea nut, cocoa and rubber plantations. This will be funded through special fees from the Minerals Commission, contributions by the SSM Association, and interested plantation companies.

“I will launch a #Atree4life project through which re-afforestation by young people in mining areas will become an economically engaging activity. They will supervise the growth of these economically viable tree crops.”

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