The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by the president, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in its failed bid to defeat the illegal galamsey menace as they promised in their 2016 general election manifesto, wasted a whooping GH¢1228Million of our hard earned taxpayers money. The data analysed over the period by the Environmental and Mining Policy Institute (EMPI) shows.
The government’s resolve to end illegal mining or galamsey which have over the years depleted Ghana’s forest cover has been given further impetus on 31 July 2017 with the deployment of the first batch of security men to three regions considered to be the most affected areas of the menace.
Dubbed Operation Vanguard, the initial four hundred (400) strong men made up of personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service have been divided into three groups to cover the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions. The teams have been tasked to stay at their assigned regions until all forms of illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, have been stopped and unauthorised mining pits permanently destroyed.
The wasted Ghana Cedis in its ingenious use would potentially be able to build and provide over nine hundred (900) turn-keyed classroom blocks and peripheral school facilities for schools’ under trees. The money was spent between July 2017 when the project was launched and March 2020 – when the operation was halted and the final contingent of security services staff pulled out from their operational areas.
Our carcinogenic pathogenically lifestyle that has over the period been breeding repugnant corruption led to the current government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) wasted our hard earned taxpayers GH¢108Million on Operation Vanguard alone with the rest GH¢1120 Million going into the Artisanal Miners Alternative Livelihood Project technically referred to as Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) – http://mlnr.gov.gh/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/MMIP-PROJECT-DOCUMENT.pdf.
The MMIP figure of GH¢1120Million, includes an amount of GH¢12Million spent on Community Mining Scheme that was launched by the President in July 2019 in Bawdie at the Wassa Akropong Municipality of the Western Region that has since been expanded to about four other mining districts in the Ashanti Region and other parts of Western Region.
World Bank approves 50 million dollars for MMIP implementation
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) in its news publication on 18th September 2018 announced that, The World Bank has approved 50 million dollars to support the Government’s efforts at addressing illegal small-scale mining under activities outlined in the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP). The draft manual of activities would be sponsored by the Bank and presented to its top management. The document is expected to be approved for implementation within the next two weeks.
Mr Mamadou Barry, a Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractives at the Bank, made the disclosure when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Mr Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, at the Ministry in Accra.
The writer Kwaku Boateng is an environmentalist and president of Environmental and Mining Policy Institute (EMPI) Ghana, 0246-550-550 (www.empighana.org)