The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) has questioned the President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Akuffo Addo, over when the ban on Small Scale Mining would be lifted.

The government, through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, banned all small-scale mining activities in order to deal with illegal mining practices (galamsey).

The ban followed the pollution of water bodies and destruction of the environment by the galamseyers.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, however, recently assured that shortly, government will put out a statement setting out a comprehensive roadmap, including the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining, to deal with, on a permanent basis, the grave threat of galamsey to the present and future health of Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo speaking at the NPP delegate conference at Koforidua over the weekend re-echoed the roadmap for lifting the ban on small scale mining will soon be published.

The Director of Research and Planning of the association Mr. Mike Gizo commenting on the President statement in an interview with Abusua Fm’s Osei Kwadwo appealed to President Nana Addo to come out with the exact date the ban on small scale mining would be lifted.

According to Mike Gizo, the association is expecting that the timely implementation of the assurance will become a saviour bell to end the myriad of problems that have engulfed members for some time now.

“We have had many assurances from government about the lifting of ban on small scale mining in the country. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu and his Deputy Benito Owusu Bio this year assured us the government will lift the ban. President Nana Addo has also assured us on several occasions but we the members of the small scale miners want to know the exact date the ban would be lifted” he said.

Socio Economic Effects

Mike Gizo explained that, the ban on mining has also led to high rate of prostitution, alcohol and drugs abuse, robbery and fraud in the mining communities in the country.

According to him, since majority of the youth in mining communities are now jobless after the ban, they are engaging themselves in bad activities to earn money.

He added that the ban has also led to collapse of banks and has caused huge balance of payment deficit resulting in the weakening of the cedi.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Mike Gizo revealed that the ban on small scale mining has led to increase of unemployment rate in the country especially youth employment.

According to him, the sector employs over 1 million Ghanaians in the country but after the ban on mining, all the miners have sack their workers which have led to increase of unemployment.

He added that government lifting the ban will help reduce unemployment rate because miners can employ their workers and pay them well.

LOANS

Mike Gizo added that Miners have procured loans from banks to buy equipment’s, so they are pleading to the government to redraw the ban so that they can do their work effectively to pay back their bankers.

“Some of our members have been arrested while others have commit suicide because of indebtedness. The situation we are going through is very disheartening but we are appealing to government to listen to our cry and lift the ban. We will continue to protect lands, water bodies and deal with illegal miners” he said.