05 July 2017

‘Galamsey’ Minister Should Resign Over Prestea-Nsuta Tragedy – Mutawakilu | Politics

The Lands and Mineral Resources minister Peter Amewu has been asked to resign after the collapse of a mining pit in Prestea Nsuta which has some 17 persons trapped after more than 48 hours.

Minority member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament Adam Mutawakilu told Joy News Tuesday, “he has not been able to perform to the satisfaction that Ghanaians expected and therefore he should go out”.

The NDC Damongo MP said African leaders must learn from international practice to honorably resign in the wake of government ineffectiveness. He said the tragedy exposes government’s failed efforts in fighting against illegal mining. For more than three months, the NPP government has embarked on flushing out illegal miners responsible for massive environmental degradation.

The minister has toured damaged land masses, screamed at lazy mines inspectors and criticized the Minerals Commission.He issued an ultimatum to illegal miners to stop in three weeks or face the law. Hundreds of excavators have been seized.

But last Sunday’s tragedy brings the fight against the menace under fresh scrutiny. The pits, hand dug, is said to be 80 feet deep. There is scant regard for safety.

“…They just dig and as they go they use wooden props”, deputy Lands and Natural Resources minister Benito-Owusu-Bio told Joy News Tuesday. He said the disaster happened after the illegal miners carried out an unplanned dynamite blast whilst their colleagues were inside the pit.

The NDC MP Adam Mutawakilu has described the tragedy as a “big slap” on the face of the Lands and Natural Resources minister Peter Amewu.”He gave an ultimatum that come this day there will not be galamsey in Ghana and we are hearing of not only galamsey but it is even killing our people”

The Ranking member of the Mines and Energy Committee said Amewu must be blamed for the failure of institutions under the Ministry.

He also believes government’s fight against the menace has been simplistic. “If you are a minister and you only go round and think that that going round is enough then we are deceiving ourselves” he said.

But deputy Lands and Natural Resources minister Benito-Owusu-Bio has rubbished the NDC MP’s call. He said the NPP has achieved in six months what the former NDC government failed to do in 8 years.

Rejecting the view that the fight against illegal mining has been simplistic, the deputy minister said government has three plans to address the menace.

The plan A has been to sensitize the public, followed by a military taskforce to clamp down on the activity and finally, a Multilateral Mining Integrated Programme which will reclaim the damaged lands and also  to provide alternative job opportunities for the miners.

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