There are some chiefs who encourage the youth to engage in illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in Ghana, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has said.
He has promised to deal with those chiefs within his traditional jurisdiction who clandestinely encourage the problem government is finding difficulty in dealing with.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Asanko Gold Mine at Manso Nkran in the Ashanti region, the Otumfuo emphasised: “There are some chiefs behind this galamsey thing. They encourage the youth to go out there and do it. For those chiefs in this area, if I hear that any of you is involved in galamsey, you won’t have it easy with me.”
He also accused politicians across the divide of encouraging the illegal small-scale mining by failing to condemn ‘galamsey’.
“All the laws are there, why are we not enforcing them? It is because you politicians, not NDC or NPP, all of you, have things you tell the youth for them to continue doing galamsey because of the votes you seek. It is true that the youth need jobs but we should be able to tell them the truth that galamsey is not healthy for the environment.
“There is the Minerals Commission, there is the Ministry of Mines, and the Lands Commission, if we have to make laws to regulate their activities, let’s just do it. If we have to register all of them under small-scale mining, let’s do it,” the Asantehene bemoaned.