John Mahama of NDC fame has challenged President Akufo Addo to stop by the River Birim whenever he visits the Eastern Region and drink from it if he believes he has really dealt with galamsey.
In the voice of the NDC’s flagbearer, Akufo Addo’s claim of battling illegal mining to save the country’s polluted rivers have been unsuccessful.
He noted that if Akufo Addo believes he has succeeded in his war against galamsey he should go and drink from the Birim river which has been polluted for years over illegal mining.
As a reminder, Ghana is recognised today as the second-largest gold producer in Africa. It is the undisputed mining hub of West Africa and is dominated by two main gold mining sectors: the large-scale mining sector (LSM) and small-scale or artisanal small-scale mining (SSM/ASM).
Within the small-scale gold mining sector is “galamsey”, a local term used in Ghana for illegal or unregulated gold mining operations.
Illegal gold mining operations are criticised heavily throughout Ghana due to their detrimental environmental effects, which many believe outweigh any possible economic and cultural justifications.
The general public, the media, and academia have raised serious concerns about the negative effects of galamsey operations and have called for its abolishment, and the restoration of the many abandoned mining sites and spoils.