Engineer prescribes employment package for displaced illegal miners
The raging concerns of the galamsey menace is fast raising discussions from all quarters of the country to find solutions to problems associated with it; employment for displaced galamseyers, secrete killings in mining areas, destruction of our water bodies, depletion of fish species, among others.
Many more organizations have also added their voice to the increasing demand for solution to these problems.
Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ghana is one of such organisations earnestly looking for solution to Ghana’s unemployment situation as government forcefully wages war against putting stop to illegal mining in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Ghananewsone.com, the Executive Secretary of Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ghana, Engr. Emmanuel W.K. Donkor appealed to President Akuffo-Addo to consider repealing the PNDC Law 285 which bars operations on the Songor Lagoon in order to allow investors to renew operations for salt production.
He further requested government to establish a processing plant for salt mining in that area to increase employment opportunities for the youth as well as boost the country’s economic fortunes, and thus help to fulfil the one district, one factory agenda.
He maintained Ghana is currently sitting on a “gold mine” but until that law is repealed, the country will not derive any benefit from salt.
Engr. Emmanuel Donkor noted salt is one of the five chemicals which form the basis of the chemical industry in the world. He explained that salt has many uses which include the application in food industries such as canning, packaging, flour processing, meat packaging, dairy and food flavoring.
He added that salt is also used for tanning in the leather industry, it is also used for de-icing of roads and highways in Europe, America, Asia, etc.
Engineer Donkor however noted that when the law is repealed and a processing plant established, it will boost employment and increase economic growth in the country.
The Executive Secretary explained that now that there is war against illegal mining, government should, as a matter of urgency, reclaim all damaged lands at the mining sites and replant trees to reestablish the vegetation on those lands.
He advised the government to cultivate the rehabilitated lands into large farms and employ the illegal miners to work on them. “Government should then encourage the farm workers to form corporatives of ten members or more in each group, and then provide them with seed capital for them to work” he stressed.
He noted however that Ghanaians have been talking about illegal mining and possible ways of ending it for sometime now but there has not been the opportunity to do so.
While commending Akuffo- Addo’s government for the courage and determination to deal with the menace,
he bemoaned the destruction caused our water bodies due to the activities of galamseyers and regretted that the country’s rivers have been polluted with chemicals by these operations.
He regrettably noted these polluted rivers finally enters into the sea and then pollute it. According to him, if this happens, the fish in both the rivers and the sea loses. their breeding grounds to increase.
The astute Engineer disclosed this is one of the reasons why it has become difficult for our fisher folks to have bumper catch and have to travel far away into other countries’ territorial waters to get fish.
“This has become necessary for the country to stop illegal mining at all cost to avoid a situation whereby the country will lose it all eventually”.
“The plankton and jelly fish species which tuna fish feeds on have all been destroyed by chemicals from these illegal miners, thus rendering tuna fishing in Ghana almost impossible” he lamented.
Engr. Donkor therefore appealed to all to support the fight against galamsey since the menace affects the livelihood of all, destroying our clean water, reducing food production as arable lands are destroyed and causing reduction in fish production in the country.
Source: Kojo Aidoo