The Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of mines, Ms. Joyce Aryee, has warned that Ghana risk destruction if Chinese illegal miners and other foreigners were not flushed out of Ghana with urgency.
She said the illegal mining activities of the foreigners are “decimating the country”.
Ms. Aryee, who was part of a delegation that accompanied Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on a working tour of Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo concession in the Brong region on Thursday, May 30, 2013, emphasised the need for a concerted and well coordinated support from traditional leaders in tackling the problem.
“We need the collective support from you, Your Excellency [Otumfuo] and the other chiefs to make sure that people who don’t belong to Ghana ought not be allowed to come and mess up this country”, she pleaded.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Salt and Light Ministry noted that the illegal Chinese miners and other foreigners will eventually go back to their country after destroying and messing up Ghana.
She bewailed that: “Right now, we see that galamsey is no longer our own people trying to make a living, but foreigners using equipment leaving holes in the ground; causing serious environmental problems; not employing our own people; bringing social and moral vices that we have not even thought of before”.
“…All our Rivers are under siege. From Birim through Pra, to Offin to Ankobra, all of them are under siege, and we cannot continue to look on unconcerned”, Joyce Aryee bemoaned.
Hundreds of Chinese and a few other foreigners have been arrested in different operations by the Ghana Immigration Service and the Police, in connection with illegal mining.
There are instances where the Chinese have engaged their local hosts in fierce gunfights over concessions.
Some of such conflicts, have resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides.
Ghana’s President, Mr. John Mahama, recently inaugurated an inter-ministerial taskforce to deal with the menace.