Gov’t to register ‘galamsey operators’ in Ghana for monitoring...

Minister of State in charge of the Private Sector, Rashid Pelpuo, has disclosed that government is taking steps to register illegal miners also known as “galamsey operators” in the country.

This he said will enable government monitor their activities to ensure that destruction of land is minimized.

Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, Mr. Pelpuo lamented that, the activities of galamsey operators have serious implications on the country and called for a collaborative effort to check the menace.

“On Friday, I was in the office of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and he said that he was very sad with the activities of galamsey operators and what they are doing. He couldn’t just feel normal and he feels like weeping with the way we are treating our environment.

"And he is taking some actions, he is making sure that lands are reclaimed and ensure that some chemicals are not used; all galamsey operators who are operating illegally would also be registered.

“When you register; you are monitored. When you finish operating in a particular location, they will help you to know how to reclaim the land because that is the way to go because if you try to get them out of the forest, you will find it tough and I think that direction he is moving is good,” he added.

The Citi Breakfast Show team has in the last few days been discussing the effects of galamsey particularly on treated water sources.

This follows reports that three water treatment plants in the country have been earmarked for shut down over galamsey activities which have polluted the water bodies from which the plants harvest water from.

An assessment of some galamsey sites showed that the menace if unchecked could plunge the nation into water crisis.

Mr. Pelpuo however observed that, big mining companies “use cyanide [in their activities] but these ones [illegal miners] use mercury” explaining that “when you use mercury it doesn’t decay, it stays in the land for a long time, and then it goes into the plants that you even eat and could get cancer.”

“So there is a problem, let’s view it as a national issue and a national concern and let’s view it across board. I hope that when they [Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources] come out with a position, all the political parties will buy into it and then we make sure we put it in our manifestos and work on it,” he added.