Ghana is blessed with Abundant Natural Resources but Faces Devastating Effects of illegal mining: John Mahama

picture of John Dramani Mahama at UENR

John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had the honor of speaking at the 3rd Annual Transformative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining in Sunyani. In his address, Mr. Mahama emphasized that while “Ghana is blessed with abundant natural resources, including gold, we have also experienced the devastating effects of illegal mining.” He highlighted the severe environmental degradation caused by such practices, noting that rivers and lands in Ghana have been polluted, forests destroyed, and communities left without clean water and fertile land. Mahama stressed that Ghana cannot allow illegal mining to continue unchecked.

Mr. Mahama highlighted the urgent need for Ghana to prioritize sustainable development and responsible mining practices. He cited specific examples of the destruction caused by illegal mining in places like the Ankobra and Pra Rivers and the Atewa Forest Reserve. According to him, the nation cannot afford to lose these precious natural resources to the greed of a few individuals. The flagbearer emphasized that a concerted effort from all stakeholders is necessary to address the crisis effectively.

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Mahama called for the development and implementation of policies that prioritize sustainable mining practices and hold those who engage in illegal mining accountable. He outlined several key measures that could be taken to combat illegal mining, including stricter enforcement of existing mining laws, increased investment in responsible mining technologies, and comprehensive efforts to educate and empower small-scale miners to operate sustainably

As the leader of the NDC and a prospective President of the Republic, Mahama expressed his deep commitment to working with all stakeholders to forge a new vision for Ghana’s mining industry. He asserted, “We must ensure that Ghana’s natural resources are managed in a way that benefits all our people, not just a few.”

picture of Mahama and others at UENR

Mahama also took the opportunity to thank the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), their co-organizers, and all participants for their valuable insights and contributions during the dialogue. He emphasized that collective action and shared responsibility are essential for creating a sustainable and responsible mining industry in Ghana

The problem of illegal mining, often referred to as ‘galamsey’, has been a persistent issue in Ghana, causing significant environmental and socio-economic challenges. The rampant deforestation, water pollution, and soil degradation resulting from illegal mining operations have had dire consequences for local communities and ecosystems. This illegal activity undermines legitimate mining operations, deprives the government of revenue, and often involves dangerous labor practices and child exploitation.

John Dramani Mahama’s address at the 3rd Annual Transformative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining highlighted the critical issues surrounding illegal mining in Ghana and outlined a clear vision for addressing them. His call for stricter enforcement of laws, investment in sustainable technologies, and education for small-scale miners reflects a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem.

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