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Ghana’s vice president Dr Mahamadu Bawumia says the country has suspending issuing mining licences until illegal mining, known as galamsey, has been effectively addressed. However it was not clear whether the licence suspensions would only affect the small scale mining sector, local media reported.
There has been strong public pressure, including a social media #Stop Galamsey Now campaign, against the unregulated illegal mining sector that has polluted water sources.
Bawumia yesterday told a town hall meeting the suspension was a major step in addressing the problem, one of the anti-galamsey campaign backers CitiFM reported.
Bawumia said the government had developed a five-year multilateral mining integrated project to improve the management of small scale mining to protect the environment, adding that mining around water bodies would be banned.
President Nana Akufo-Addo reportedly said over the weekend that the law criminalising illegal mining would be enforced irrespective of nationality, in response to accusations Chinese nationals were being targeted.
Analysts have warned Ghana might soon have to import water if illegal miners continued to pollute the country’s water bodies.(source: MiningJournal)