Ghana’s ‘galamsey’ on steroids – US Ambassador to Ghana calls for stewardship of natural resources

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Concerns keep rising over a potential climate crisis if the illegal mining canker is not dealt once and for all.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, has therefore called for a show of stewardship, lamenting that “Ghana’s ‘galamsey’ is on steroids now”. 

In an exclusive interview with Charles Ayitey, Stephanie S. Sullivan expressed disheartening about the pollution of the Ankobrah River and other water bodies.

“Galamsey was an issue 20 years ago and it’s kind of on steroids now. It’s not three people with a pan in the river, it’s this heavy machinery, a lot of deforestation going on. It breaks my heart to see the Ankobrah River has just become so polluted from when we were here 20 years ago. I think it’s important to be in a position to be a steward of the environment”.

“We don’t inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children,” she stated.

In April 2021, the US Ambassador expressed the same sentiments when she graced a Tree Planting Ceremony with the Amakomhene, Nana Adu Mensah Asare to commemorate Earth Day.

She called for the conservation and restoration of the forests and water bodies, promoting sustainable agriculture and fisheries by “stopping illegal logging, mining, and fishing, and combatting wildlife trafficking and marine plastic pollution” 

Meanwhile, government has begun prosecution of persons suspected to have engaged in illegal mining activities, otherwise known as “galamsey” in the country.

Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who disclosed this at the government’s press briefing on illegal mining in Accra said so far, there are five separate cases facing different levels of state prosecution in court.

According to him, the cases are not exhaustive, and the Attorney General’s office is readying documents for more state-level prosecution of persons who have flouted the country’s mining laws.

However, in providing details on the ongoing court cases, the Minister said “the first is the Republic versus George Asante and 31 others.

“In this case, the earlier report came out because some national security operatives have been arrested engaging in illegal mining elsewhere. It turns out that these persons are not national security operatives.”

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