The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) has expressed disappointment at the government’s failure to seek the input of relevant stakeholders into the development of the roadmap to lift the ban on small-scale mining in the country.
The coalition said the failure to engage chiefs, media, communities, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), the Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and other partners for the blueprint amounted to “putting the cart before the horse.”
“For such a road map, stakeholder engagement and a communication strategy will be critical to the success of the project,” the coalition stressed.
On August 17, 2018, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, announced the government’s roadmap to lift the ban on small-scale mining.
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The roadmap outlines the various processes that the government expects to go through to eventually lift the ban on small-scale mining.
Although the roadmap does not state the specific time the ban will be lifted, there are indications that it may happen before Christmas this year, depending on how the road map is implemented.
At a news conference in Accra on Thursday, August 23, 2018, the Convener of the MCAG, Mr Ken Ashigbey, said it was worrying that the roadmap for lifting the ban on artisanal and small-scale mining and the way forward failed to recognise the contribution the news media made to the success of what it described as this national fight.
He recalled that the NCCE actively engaged in the 19 public engagements by the MCAG on galamsey, carrying out its mandate and yet its role was also not recognised in the roadmap.
He said while some strides had been made so far in the fight against galamsey, the coalition believed that laying out a roadmap without addressing critical concerns seemed to be putting the cart before the horse.
Mr Ashigbey said it was the belief of the coalition that if there had been extensive engagement with stakeholders, they could have contributed to enriching the roadmap and dealt with some of the issues that “we are raising at this press conference.”
Mr Ashigbey described the timeliness for all the intended actions, including the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining, as vague.
“Definite dates for the various intended actions and a completion date would have helped settle anxieties,” he said.
The convener added that the mining rights and leases to small-scale mining firms in Ghana had not been ratified by Parliament since the coming into force of Article 268 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, rendering all mining operations in the country illegal.
“We would, therefore, like to know the steps the government is taking or has taken as this is not stated in the roadmap towards the ratification of small-scale licenses to effectively put an end to illegal mining,” he said.