Editorial

Terrorists attracted to galamsey!

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Editorial

Last Sunday, the Minister for National Security, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, made a very shocking revelation about the relationship between terrorism and illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

According to the Minister, terrorists are very much attracted to galamsey activities because of how easy it is for them to make money in the space to fund their nefarious activities.

The Minister said his assertion was not just hearsay, but based on reports which have been written on mining areas where terrorists have infiltrated. He cited Mali and Burkina Faso, two Sahel countries which have been infiltrated by extremists.

Indeed, a story published by the VOA on November 9, 2021, just a year and some days ago, talks about how gold mining in Burkina Faso was becoming increasingly dangerous, as some gold mining companies in the Sahel region were attacked by terrorists.

The Chronicle believes that this should be a worry to every Ghanaian, because Burkina Faso shares a border with us to the North, and so the probability of the extremists gaining access to Ghana to harm the country cannot be overemphasised.

Ghana is already experiencing the devastating impact of galamsey on its water bodies, food, etc.

The Ghana Water Company has lamented about how expensive it is to treat water these days, due to the turbidity levels. The company has hinted on how water will be scarce and expensive some years to come, if galamsey activities are not regulated.

Peasant farmers in most villages have bemoaned how their lands have been rendered infertile due to galamsey activities. Irrespective of how small food crops these farmers produce, many agriculturalists have warned about the dangers of food scarcity the country stands to experience if immediate steps are not taken to save farmlands.

Already, the cocoa industry is experiencing this scarcity, as some farmers have started cutting down their trees to pave way for mining activities to take place on their lands. This is the industry which contributes significantly to the country’s total foreign exchange earnings and mineral exports.

The cocoa sector’s overall contribution to GDP is about 3.5 percent, which makes up about a quarter of total export receipts. It also provides employment to a significant number of people.

We stand a chance of losing all these benefits we are enjoying from the industry should we not wage war against illegal mining.

That aside, can we, as a country, handle the repercussions these terrorist will add to our already dire situation should they take hold of any mine site? We believe the answer to this question is a big ‘No’!

This is why we, as individuals, must play active roles in the fight against galamsey. Irrespective of the alleged involvement of some ‘big men’ in the galamsey business, we believe that if the people in communities, towns, and villages where these activities take place stand against it, they will be able to ward off these illegal miners from their lands.

To the supposed ‘big men’ involved in the galamsey business, our plea to you is that if you do not care about our water bodies getting destroyed, we hope the idea of terrorists infiltrating the country will make you think twice.

No ‘war torn’ country can boast of enjoying absolute freedom like what we are enjoying in this country. A word to the wise…

THE CHRONICLE

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