Pressure Group, OccupyGhana, is reminding government to step up its efforts in dealing with the galamsey menace in the country.
The group has promised to keep on reminding government on the effects of the menace till the fight is won.
The group which began a campaign three weeks ago to remind the government of the horrifying effect of galamsey on Ghana’s environment says they would sue the government if it fails to adhere to the guidelines it would be proffering.
They have released their third reminder Monday, October 17, tasking the government to confiscate all galamsey lands.
OccupyGhana says fresh ideas are needed to tackle the menace “and then to put in place a responsible and properly regulated artisanal mining regime. We therefore propose an amendment to the law to specifically criminalise the making of land available for Galamsey operations, and the confiscation of all such lands to the state.”
The group also adds that “Under section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, persons who provide lands or allow their lands to be used for Galamsey operations could be said to be abetting the offence by ‘facilitating’ it.
That abetment attracts fines and imprisonment between 15 and 25 years.
However, we believe that it is time to take the fight more directly to land owners, because without the land, there would be no Galamsey.
“The fight against Galamsey has so far focused on the operators, with little or no success. They have proven to be more mobile and agile than our security agencies. Even when arrests are made, those arrested are often the ‘small time’ field operators who are working for faceless kingpins. That is why the reported arrests and prosecutions are having little or no effect”, the statement added.
The statement urged the President to lead the charge, not just for this amendment, but for the enforcement of the law when passed. Time is not on our side, and decisive action is required to save the nation from the danger that Galamsey portends, represents and causes to this dear nation.
“We remind you of the words you uttered on 10 July 2017, when you staked your presidency on ending Galamsey, adding that ‘It will be a betrayal of the trust reposed on me if I fail to end this.’
We therefore propose a further amendment of the law to include a provision that specifically criminalises making land available or allowing land to be used for Galamsey, and then confiscates that land to the state.”