The Former General Secretary of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Apostle Samuel Yaw Antwi has commended the government for being able to fight the illegal mining menace popularly known as “galamsey.”
According to him, he got the opportunity to visit some of the mining sites to ascertain the progress of the situation which he said has generally been minimised.
“Most of the site I visited, I realised that, the equipment among other things for their operations were lying fallow,” he said.
Commend Operation Vanguard
In an interview with Apostle Antwi during a visit to the National Secretariat in Accra, he noted that, the stationing of the Operation Vanguard has helped win the fight against illegal mining in the country.
“The Operation Vanguard which was the key anti-galamsey force has helped improve the situation, we need to commend them for that. There are a few spots where the people have defied the orders, for instance around Wassa Akropong in the Western region where people are still doing it,” he noted.
Apostle Antwi who is the Area Head of Tarkwa Church of Pentecost in the Western region stressed that, if government relaxed on the situation, there is a possibility the illegal miners would take over again.
Therefore, he urged government not to sleep but rather find more strategic ways to sustain the fight.
“If it is relaxed certainly they would take over again due to the unemployment situation in the country, so there is a need for government to find ways to address the unemployment situation,” he indicated.
The Man of God disclosed that, one day on his way to Kumasi at dawn, he saw a pocket of people returning from a galamsey site after working in the night, so if the heat is not maintained, many of them would go back to the act.
Touching on unemployment as a major contributing factor to the illegal mining, Apostle Antwi pointed out that, “Already there is an alternative livelihood empowerment programme for the youth to take advantage of rather than engaging in illegal mining.”
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) as effort to combat illegal mining, early last year presented a petition signed by 131,000 member churches to the Former Managing Director of Graphic Communication Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Kenneth Ashigbey to add their voice to the Media Coalition to fight against the menace.
Leading the campaign, Apostle Antwi and the Programmes Manager, Mr. Ernest Asigri called on government to do more to completely deal with the situation.
The Council took that initiative because, the practice threatened the survival of future generations if not given the needed attention and halted.
The government in reaction to the massive campaign by other recognised bodies commenced a major operation to rid communities of galamsey activities to save the country’s lands and water resources from further pollution and destruction.
SOURCE: GPCC NEWS