Members of Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), have resolved to embark on a nationwide demonstration next Tuesday to protest the continued ban on small-scale mining.
The Government in 2017 placed a ban on all forms of small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and curb its devastating effects on the environment.
The ban was first placed in January 2017 for six months, and extended in October 2017, for another three months, which ended in January 2018, and then extended again till date.
But the Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners in the Ashanti Region, Frank Osei, has complained that “it is not easy, it is hard for me and my members.”
He also accused the government of being insensitive to their plight
Mr. Osei told Citi News: “we have come to realise that the government is not clear with us. It is not being fair with us and it is putting us in a hard situation. That is why we have decided to demonstrate.”
“We will be having it [the demonstration] in Kumasi so all the members that are in the mining sector will travel to the Ashanti Region for the demonstration,” he added.
In September 2017, some small-scale miners in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, staged a demonstration against the ban.
Vetting of miners
The last development from the government end of things saw it begin the vetting of small-scale miners in September.
This was part of road-map towards the lifting of the ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country.
The process also forms part of efforts to sanitize the country’s mining industry and ensure that persons engaged in the commercial activity do so in a responsible, environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner.
The road-map involves the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined-out areas; the restoration of impacted water bodies; and strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licenses and associated permits to deal with illegal mining.