Dear Editor, Illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, which means gather and sell, is a major problem in the country. Over the years, the activities of those involved in galamsey have led to the degradation of land and water bodies.
I believe that one of the major reasons that has encouraged these activities is the financial difficulties most people face in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in areas where mining takes place.
Some of these MMDAs in mining areas do not have enough resources to undertake projects, so when the illegal miners come in, they are warmly welcomed because they know that they will get some money from them.
Again, the habit of not prosecuting perpetrators of these activities according to the laws of our land does not help.
Law enforcement agencies should ensure that those who engage in these illegal mining activities are punished severely.
Because they are not punished severely for their activities, they encourage more people to engage in these illegal activities.
Furthermore, the lack of job opportunities for the youth does not help matters. Since they don’t have any work to do, the youth in the mining areas engage in galamsey as an opportunity to earn a living.
There are no job opportunities in the country, so they see it as a means of escape from the hardship they are likely to face if they are not doing anything.
Despite everything, the galamsey problem can he solved. The government should resource the MMDAs to enable them to embark on projects without depending on funds from the galamsey people.
The arms of government should work as a team towards fighting galamsey. This can be achieved by enforcing the laws prohibiting galamsey.
This way, our water bodies will not be in the bad state they are in now and Ghanaians can get good drinking water.
The government should open job avenues for the youth so that they will not get involved in such acts. When they work, they can also be able to contribute towards the development of this country through tax payment.
Let us all join the fight against galamsey to save our water bodies. This way, we will not have to import drinking water in the future.
Peprah Mario Knopple,
Let’s get vaccinated
The Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine being offloaded from the Emirates Airlines flight EK787 at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
Dear Editor, I am very glad that our country has the COVID-19 vaccine now and I wish to commend the government, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their efforts.
I believe the vaccine will go a long way to help in the fight against the pandemic. It can for instance help prevent new infections and through this reduce the number of cases too.
Unfortunately, it appears some people are not willing to take it when the opportunity is given for all to receive the vaccine.
While the reason some have given for thier refusal to take the vaccine has to do with misconceptions they have about it, for others it is as a result of what they have heard happened to some people when they took the vaccine.
The good news is that the Food and Drugs Authority has certified that it is safe.
However, the coming of the vaccines does not mean we should let our guards down.
We should continue to observe the safety protocols such as wearing our face masks whenever we are going to a public place, washing our hands frequently with soap under running water or regularly using hand sanitisers and observing physical distance.
The virus is still around. Let us, therefore, protect ourselves in order not to get it.
Coantess Amelia School,
Aburi, Eastern Region.
Handle cedi notes with care
It is very appalling how Ghanaians mishandle the cedi notes. Our cedi notes and coins are supposed to be handled with care so that they do not wear out quickly.
This is because it is expensive to produce the notes and the coins. On November 29, 2019, the Bank of Ghana announced the issuance of a new two-cedi coin, as well as new 100 and 200 cedi notes.
When you see the current state of some of these notes that were introduced, you will be very disappointed.
Some people crumple the notes into their pockets, while others, especially food vendors and those who trade in oil soil them.
The cedi notes and coins are the properties of Ghana and they should be handled with care to ensure that they are always in good state.
Some people refuse to accept cedi notes that are worn-out or soiled. In as much as we want to handle clean notes and coins, it is the responsibility of everyone to see to it that they are always clean.
There is the need for the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to educate members of the public, particularly market women who are fond of soiling the notes to keep our currencies clean to prolong their existence.
We should also be one another’s keeper and shame those who mishandle the cedi or institute light punishment for those who do that.
I believe if this is done, people will be compelled to keep them clean and with respect since it is one of Ghana’s properties.