ACCRA: PLAYERS in the alluvial mining sector in Ghana are calling for the government to regularize the operations of these miners in view of the enormous job benefit to the country’s youth as well as the sector’s potential to economic growth.
Among stakeholders making the call are Nana Abena Apee I, Twifohene of Prestea/Huni Valley, Concern Citizens of Prestea as well as the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, Stone Crackers Association and Member of Parliament for Prestea/Huni Valley, Kwesi Blay.
Alluvial mining has over the years have been an alternative to decent livelihood for many youth in the mining communities across the West African country. However, currently, the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 Act 703 makes provision for small scale mining but does not explicitly state its position on streamlining alluvial mining.
Among those affected by this position is Alhasssan Fuseini. He is an energetic 30 year-old-young man from the Upper West Region. He migrated to Prestea some five years ago in search of greener, or golden, pastures in this mining community.
Dressed in a tattered yellow shirt with a pair of jeans shorts, Fuseini narrated his journey to Prestea has been, the fact that the community had given him a sense of new hope to a brighter future.
An impoverished uncle raised him and his three siblings but life was tough for the orphans. They had to struggle through the everyday challenges that life threw at them, haven initially worked from one construction firm to the other.
However, in 2010, he embarked on a journey that would change his life for the better. He now earns enough from small scale mining and is able send money home every month to his younger siblings who are unemployed.
Thousands of similar stories exist in the Prestea region. Women also told their stories. Afrifa, a galamsey miner and member of the Concern Citizens of Prestea suggests that government could decentralize license for miners, register galamsey miners and workers, provide ID cards so that they can pay income tax and other legal payments to government under the law.
Miners appealed to government to reduce electricity cost to these communities. They argue that they are indirectly providing thousands of jobs to young people who otherwise could have engaged in arm robbery and become liability to society.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY