US Embassy Meets Small Scale Miners In Prestea

Galamsey: US Embassy Meets Small Scale Miners In Prestea

The struggle by the Small Scale Mining Association in Ghana and stake holders as well as key stakeholders in mining communities in Ghana keeps receiving energy, the latest is the joining of foreign governments embassies expressing deep concern over matters arising since the President Akuffo Addo led administration placed a ban on all forms of small scale mining and artisanal mining (galamsey).

The US Embassy in Ghana today had a meeting with Small Scale Miners in Prestea as part of their responsibilities to seeing a successful Ghana. The group were led to Nana Nteboah Prah IV, the divisional chief of Prestea –Heman traditional area before they came to meet the Small Scale Miners. The key leaders include Morris Jackson, Economic Department US Embassy- Ghana; Issaih Tuolienuo, Environmental Department US Embassy- Ghana, Francis Opoku, PRO for National Small Scale Mining; Mustapha Nuhu the Secretary for Prestea Branch of National Small Scale Mining; leadership of Prestea Communicators for Development (PCD) a civil society group based in Prestea and over seventy licensed Small Scale Miners all joined the interactions which lasted a couple of hours at the Small Scale Mining Office at Krootown, Prestea.

Speaking to Prestea Communicators for Development, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Morris Jackson said “there is the need for successful conversation; I understand both sides have issues, something needs to be done about our environment, and there is also something that has to be done about Ghanaians being employed. So there are both sides of the stories”.

When asked whether lifting of the ban is the solution, here is what Mr. Jackson had to say, “ I don’t know where the ban is going to go. I don’t know what the solution is, all I can do is to listen to both parties and see how we can help”. He added, “my simple words to Ghanaians are, they should continue pushing for their country, Ghana is a great place. Continue to have your country hear what your concerns are. Continue the talking to ensure your country succeeds”.

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When quizzed about the US Embassy take on the “shoot-to-kill of galamseyers by the first deputy speaker of parliament, Joe Osei Wusu”, Mr. Jackson said “I think the US is very clear and precise, we respect human rights and human life, we are huge advocates of human rights, civil rights”.

The National PRO, Mr. Francis Opoku pointed out, they are engaging the foreign embassies to interact with them, since the President Nana Akuffo Addo has “put his seat on the line”, and is not ready to “lift the ban today or tomorrow”, and that, the coming in of foreign governments will put “the government on the alert” that, National Small Scale Mining Association(NSSMA) is indeed serious about this matter. He said, NSSMA has already met with the Australian government, who is supporting the MMIP project. He further hinted, if government continues to turn deaf-ear to their request for the lift of the ban, they will soon start series of “nationwide demonstrations”.

Mr. Mustapha Nuhu , who is the Secretary for the Prestea Branch of NSSMA said “the economic hardship their members are going through is unbearable and government needs to act swiftly to save Ghanaians”.

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