Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has declared support for the National Red Friday Crusade against Galamsey.
The crusade, being championed by the Media Coalition against Galamsey and OccupyGhana, is to rally Ghanaians to demonstrate their rage and anger at illicit mining that had already taken a toll on the environment.
At a media interaction in Accra on Friday, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng commended the media for joining the fight and gagging up against illegal mining and pushing harder for the total end to the menace, saying; “we are very happy that the media is championing the course”.
He reiterated the need to fight against galamsey to help save and protect the environment adding that the crusade was not meant to fight a particular group of people as was being portrayed by a section of the public.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said: “Let us not see it as a fight by the President and his ministers to get rid of illegal mining but it is a fight for our land, for the survival of the generations that will come after us. We should see it as a fight that involves all of us.”
He said activities of galamsey had affected most of the river bodies in eight out of the 10 regions of Ghana and that the pollution had spread into waters of neighbouring countries like Cote d’Ivoire.
He said due to the friendly relationship that existed between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire there had not been any major complaint yet but it was a dent on Ghana’s reputation to pollute her water bodies to that extent.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the Government through the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources and Environment, had put up measures to reclaim the land and protect the water bodies that had been affected.
“We want the people who engage in the mining activities to understand that we cannot continue to pollute the water bodies; we are not also here to arrest people but to help them to mine in a sustainable way.”
He said government planned to engage people in the communities to reclaim the land through planting trees and other suitable food crops after officials of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) had understudied the land and advised appropriately.
The National Red Friday is a platform for Ghanaians to raise their voices against the negative activities of illegal miners and get the government to put in place measures to restore order in the mining sector.