The public has been advised to fully support the ongoing attempts by the Government to conclusively deal with the galamsey menace that plagued this nation. Head of the Business Advisory Center in the Atwima Mponua District, Benjamin Marfo, says this is essential in preserving Ghana’s agriculture and natural resources. He explains that the availability of land resources is vital to the sustenance and socio-economic development of Ghana.
“We risk losing all our treasured natural resources if we do not resist being overtaken by greed as a people”, he said adding that protecting the environment is a shared responsibility.
Mr Marfo was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a District Consultative Meeting at Adobewura, in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region, to discuss the effects of illegal small-scale mining on the communities and find ways of improving the livelihood of the people. The Consultative Meeting was funded by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) and facilitated by the District BAC to sensitize galamsey affected communities to fully embrace alternative sources of livelihood and employable skills training programmes to earn income.
Participants were drawn from the small-scale mining associations, farmers, Association for Small Scale Industries (ASSI), as well as the traditional authorities and District Assembly staff. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) also participated as part of the facilitators.
Mr. Marfo explained that through the Rural Enterprises Programme, hundreds of businesses and jobs of been created through skills training, business management training, access to financial services, marketing support, technology promotion etc, thus contributing to alleviating poverty in many parts of Ghana. He mentioned that the training programmes undertaken in the Atwima Mponua District only to include fish, fruit, cassava, oil palm, cocoa husk, soybean and groundnut processing; traditional catering; and mushroom cultivation. The rest are bakery, beekeeping, beauty care and fashion designing, and rabbit rearing and welding and fabrication.
The Consultative Meeting comes in the wake of the Government‘s ban on illegal small-scale mining which has seen many youth, who were previously engaged in related activities, having their livelihoods cut off. Vast agricultural land in the district has also been destroyed as a result of illegal small-scale mining activities, with its resultant impact farming activities and persons whose livelihood depended on farming.