The Guangzhou Province in China is willing to use its experience in addressing surface mining to help Ghana turn the ‘galamsey’ communities into agricultural lands.
The Guangzhou Province has high expertise in surface mining and once suffered land degradation as a result of galamsey activities.
The Ambassador of Ghana to the People’s Republic of China, Mr Edward Boateng, is currently working to invite Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu, to China to meet with the Governor of Guangzhou and his officials.
Mr Boateng dropped the hint in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Beijing during a recent visit to that country.
He said all the rivers in the Guanghou Province were polluted, “just like how most of our rivers are currently, but they have been able to address the situation to the level that the water in their rivers are very clean as though nothing had happened”.
Mr Boateng observed that Ghana could not solve the issue of galamsey merely by sacking the Chinese who were engaged in the practice in some communities in the country.
He said the Chinese could not have travelled from China to Ghana and to those communities all by themselves, insisting that sacking the Chinese amounted to scratching the surface of the problem.
“How does somebody sitting in Sanheling in Guangzhou in China know that there is gold in my village? We bring them, and we cannot solve the problem by kicking out the Chinese. The next time it can be the Japanese or Togolese,” Mr Boateng insisted.
Mr Boateng pointed accusing fingers at some Ghanaians who he said were behind the Chinese influx into mining communities in the country.
“It is our problem and we have to solve it. The Chinese were brought in by Ghanaians and so those Ghanaians must be fished out,” he stressed.
According to him, the Chinese who were engaged in galamsey activities came from Sanheling in the Guangzhou Province in China.
Mr Boateng wondered how some Chinese could enter Ghana without passports. According to him, the Governor of the Guangzhou Province explained that he had wanted to arrange for the repatriation of all Chinese ‘galamseyers’, but they could not trace any documentation on the movements of those Chinese.
He said even though the activities of the Chinese in Ghana were a serious concern, “I think the issue has been overblown in the media that the Chinese were the problem”.
Mr Boateng further asked the Minerals Commission to relook at activities in the mining sector since Ghana was one of the few countries where surface mining took place in the world.
“I think as a country, we should tackle it holistically. Why are the Chinese not in Togo? Why only Ghana?” he queried.
Mr Boateng entreated Ghanaian journalists to champion the crusade on illegal mining to make Ghana a better place.