Akwasi Addae Odike, founder of the United Peoples Party, UPP, has hinted that he will be petitioning Ghana’s international partners over illegal small-scale mining activities, popularly known as galamsey.
He listed three institutions that the UPP will be petitioning to put pressure on the government to take more decisive steps in combatting the ever-growing scourge of galamsey.
In an interview on Joy News channel, October 10, 2022; Odike stressed that from where he sat, the government was still not taking the galamsey fight seriously hence the need to employ external pressures.
“We want to send a petition to United Nations, European Union and International Monetary Fund, IMF, we want this to be part of the conditions, the strings attached to the bailout. I am imploring the IMF to bring galamsey issues as part of the conditionalities to secure this bailout.
“This will push the government harder, to take decisive decisions to mitigate this menace. United Nations Security Council too must come in, because now the effect of illegal mining is creating a health hazard,” he submitted.
He also cited the issue of security submitting that people into galamsey “are possessing a lot of guns, apart from that, HIV/AIDS is on the ascendency at these mining areas,” he alleged insisting that he had evidence to back the claims.
He is also worried about the fact that galamsey was gradually posing a health threat, especially to tubers that are grown in affected areas.
“It is contaminating our food, the tubers. You are sitting in Accra here and unbeknownst to you, you buy a yam which has been contaminated with cyanide and you will have a kidney or some infection,” he added.
Galamsey has become topical in recent months with the resurgence of news on its continued negative impact on the environment.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at a recent meeting with the National House of Chiefs and selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, MMDCEs, restated his resolve to root out the canker.
The issue has also been given impetus following the rearrest last month of a notorious galamsey kingpin in the person of Aisha Huang.
The Chinese national who had as of 2018 been repatriated from Ghana after the state discontinued a criminal trial against her for galamsey, reentered the country on the blind side of the authorities.