US to Assist Ghana in Galamsey Fight After Otumfuo’s Appeal

The United States of America (USA) has agreed to assist Ghana in the fight against illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, one year after a passionate appeal for support in its eradication by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Virginia E. Palmer made this known during her visit to the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

Her visit, she indicated, was a follow-up on the appeal of His Majesty during her maiden visit to the Palace on September 30, 2022.

“I wanted to come again to follow up on the things we spoke about last year. You made a very deep impression on me and the things you are passionate about, I am also passionate about. So I wanted to let you that in response to some of the talks that we had about galamsey and the negative effect that has had on your beautiful realm.”

Details of the assistance the US intends to give Ghana were told in camera, however, before the camera, H.E Palmer noted that 50 Ghanaian regional scientists and activists have been sponsored and are being engaged by the US’ oceanographic agency.

During her first engagement with the King of the Asante Kingdom last year, Otumfuo decried the persistence of illegal mining in the country and its wreckages to the environment.

In a passionate conversation with the envoy, His Majesty characterized the menace as an albatross on the country’s neck. He conceded that galamseyers may have been driven by unemployment in the country but noted that illegal mining cannot be the alternative regardless.

“It’s rather unfortunate that it has happened this way…People are now using equipment and they don’t care about the environment anymore. But the question is, ‘Who is in charge of the security in that area?’ from the district level to the highest level, we are all talking about galamsey. The government set up a police and military task force to do it {rid it}.

“Why have we not been able to do it? To the extent that the president put his presidency on the line and ye it is going on, polluting our water bodies… For me, I think some authorities are behind it and that is why its eradication has been daunting…At the district level, we have the political administration, the District Chief Executive, and the Security Council. Are they all saying that they are unaware of the activities of these galamseyers? If they are unable to detect and stop the operation of these galamseyers then they are unworthy to be there, it is as simple as that.”

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