The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn has reiterated that, mining in Ghana would be reserved for only the licensed individuals and companies.
Media campaign in the fight against illegal mining popularly referred to as galamsey, has intensified with the clergy and other civil society groups joining.
He said government will ensure that individuals will not have the opportunity to mine where they are not given permission especially those who do so in water bodies.
‘’ Just like the Minister [Lands and Natural Resources] had said, we will not allow individuals or companies to mine without a license especially those mining in water bodies. It is illegal to mine in a water body…Government is putting in the needed investment to allocate lands for licensed miners. We have employed researchers to help us in that regard,’’ he stated.
He commended the effort of the media in the campaign against galamsey stressing, illegal mining is a threat to lives and our environment.
‘’I will commend the media for the efforts. Illegal mining is dangerous to humanity and I think we should all join the fight to save what we have left.’’
The fight against galamsey is not a nine day wonder adding, ‘’the response has been positive.’’
He told the host that the campaign is premised on these pillars ; enforcement, use of technology and policies; and alternative livelihoods.
‘’We are not only using the police or army to combat illegal mining but we also have enforcement, the use of technology and policies; alternative livelihoods including a tree planting exercise at the areas affected by illegal mining,'' he said.
Nana Kofi Darko II, Chief of Ani-Amoa-ete near Wassa Akropong in the Western region says the negative effect of illegal mining is gradually sending the region particularly his area, into a ditch.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he charged government to do all possible to stop galamsey once and for all.
Ghana will import water in the next five years because of illegal mining activities, he warned.
He slammed chiefs in the region for ‘’sleeping’’ on their responsibilities as traditional rulers and allowing illegal miners especially Chinese nationals, to destroy our natural reserves through galamsey.
‘’I will not be bothered if illegal miners operate in their own homes or far from our water bodies but operating in our water bodies is something I cannot watch happen. Galamsey has ruined our lives and if we do not stop it, it will be too late. I have fought against galamsey in my area but people insult and attack me because they think I am troublesome.’’
According to him, 90 percent of the gold mined in the affected areas, is flown to China with only 10 percent left for the indegenes.
Nana Kofi D arko II further slammed successive governments for failing to crack the whip on galamsey.
Foreigners including Indians, and Arabians are now renting excavators to illegal miners, he alleged.
In his view, government should provide an alternative for the miners who will give up the illegal activity.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu has said government will engage all illegal miners in a tree planting project.
According to him, this could serve as an alternative source of livelihood for the illegal miners who have been ordered to cease their activities.
“For those who want to be engaged in the mining activities, they will be absorbed into the MMIP. With the reclamation across this country, it is estimated that about 1.5% of the earth surface has been degraded as a result of this activity. That alone is going to provide jobs for the communities that want to re-engage in reclamation and planting of trees. The MMIP is an attempt to absorb all factory hands engaged in illegal activities to be absorbed back within a period of 5 years where exploration activities will be done in areas that are prospective and these factory hands will be brought here to mine,” he said.
Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, has bemoaned comments targeted at people living in Kumasi following the opening of the Kumasi City Mall.Social media has been flooded with numerous trolls aimed at people in the Ashanti region after the region welcome its first mall.But the former Information Minister says he is “scandalised at the unnecessary and unseemly brouhaha that has arisen because of the unkind joshing by wannabe comedians on social media aimed at Ashantis on the occasion of the commissioning of a new shopping mall in Kumasi”.He said most comedy turns consist of poking fun at real or imagined stereotypes of human situations “but that can woefully fail to be funny when there is a hint of malice afore thought, which I think is the case with those sallying forth”.He said narrow-minded individuals guilty of the act rather “need a little exposure” to the wonderful things in the region which makes it unique. For him, Kumasi is at par with the capital when it comes to several developmental issues.“I grew up in Kumasi and treasure the city and its people. There is so much to be proud of, in this pearl of a city. The ebullience, confidence and hospitality of its indigenes are something worth bragging about. Yes, every language has its shibboleths but that shouldn't detract from the cultural richness and uniqueness of Asante Twi and how its speakers express themselves in other languages. I must say that there is nothing rustic about Kumasi life. It is as urbane and cosmopolitan as any I have been to worldwide and I have visited a few,” the ex-lawmaker wrote on his Facebook wall on Sunday, April 23.
The Coalition of Short Changed Teachers formerly Coalition of Unpaid Teachers are up in arms against their mother bodies, including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT).
According to the group, the various teacher unions including NAGRAT has failed to represent their interest and fight on their behalf.
President of the group, Eric Effah Darko speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, the various teacher unions refused to represent them because they were not members and did not pay dues.
However, they started deducting from our salaries, monthly dues and so we went back to them to put pressure on government to pay our arrears but they have not done it and we suspect they have connived with government to short change us, he said.
He explained, the Nana Addo led administration made a pledge to pay all outstanding arrears of teachers after the previous administration paid only four months out of the three years owned them.
He said, we want the teacher unions to be serious and represent our interest. They are not doing what they were mandated to do. They deduct our dues every month meanwhile they do not want to represent our interest. We are always fighting for our salaries and yet government is seeking to have quality education in the sector. How can teachers be part of that course when they have not received their salaries?''
Some teachers he lamented have committed suicide with others going through financial hardship.
Meanwhile, David Opoku Acheampong, General Secretary of GNAT has slammed the group describing their claims as false and unfortunate.
He revealed that the union fought on behalf of some of the affected teachers but the group which was formerly called Coalition of Unpaid Teachers decided to negotiate with government without the knowledge of the mother unions.''If they have decided to negotiate with government without informing us, why should they blame us today,'' he quizzed.
The Public Accounts committee is embarking on a three day capacity building work shop for members of the parliamentary press corps.The training which started yesterday [Monday] and will end tomorrow [Wednesday] is to assist the participants understand the legal framework underlining the works of the Public Accounts Committee.Participants will also be giving training the types and processes and common technology, enhancing the work of PAC through effective reportage, highlights on the financial administration Act 2003, among others.Meanwhile PAC is expected to begin sitting next Tuesday to Friday to consider financial infractions of the Bank of Ghana, Food and Drugs Authority and other agencies.Four reports of the Auditor General would be considered during the sitting. These are; the Bank of Ghana’s foreign exchange transaction and receipts and payments for the first half year and second half year of 2015, performance reports on disposal of government vehicles by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and performance report on drug use in Ghana by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Speaking on the sidelines of training, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North, Hon. Sarfo Mensah underscored the need for the media to be circumspect and read the Auditor General's report so they abreast themselves with the details to enable them report accurately.He said, ''I am hopeful that the workshop would enhance the capacity of the press corps in the discharge of their duties. You need to read the report so will be abreast with the report. This will prevent misinformation and misrepresentation. The media is doing a lot for PAC, you have also helped to disseminate information to the public on the workings of PAC...PAC is more or less the face of Parliament now.''
The Ga Traditional Council has announced that the ban on drumming and noise making takes effect from the 8th of May to the 8 of June this year.
The ban is to herald the celebration of the Homowo festival.
At a media briefing in Accra, Gbese Mantse, Nii Ayi Bonte II, cautioned churches, beer bar operators and all within the Ga Traditional Council to observe the ban.
The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has admonished corporate Ghana to support the fight against malaria.
Speaking on the theme ‘’End Malaria for Good’’ at the commemoration of World Malaria Day and launch of the Ghana Malaria Foundation, she said, although tremendous progress has been made through investment in curbing malaria, there is a large gap in the funding levels which needs to be filled in order to achieve a malaria free Ghana and therefore, calls on the business community to lend its support by sustaining gains and investment.
“Every business in Ghana has a worker who has suffered malaria before and knows the cost malaria has on its profitability. This disease affects all businesses, agriculture, banking, manufacturing, hospitality just to mention a few. This fact makes malaria a cause and consequence of low productivity and under development. I therefore appeal to the corporate world to support this cause,” she said.
She added, “By investing in the fight against malaria, you will be exercising your power to stop deaths, due to malaria. At the same time your investments, will generate real returns as it will be a key driver of business growth. Investment in malaria control interventions, will help advance broader development efforts by reducing work absenteeism, improving productivity, reducing school absenteeism and fostering business growth.”
The First Lady indicated that for Ghana to be free from malaria, the important thing will be to invest in malaria as employees who suffer from the disease end up been absent at work which affects productivity.
In Ghana, malaria occurs every year with varying transmission intensity throughout the year and it affects all ages but children under five and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.
In 2016, the country recorded 10.4 million suspected cases of Out Patients Department (OPD) malaria, which is an increase over the 10.1 million suspected cases recorded in 2015, representing about 2.5% increase. This translates into approximately 28,607 cases as seen per day in 2016 in all health facilities compared to an average of approximately 27,908 of such cases seen each day in the country’s health facilities in 2015. The OPD per 1000 population in 2016 was 364 representing a slight increase over the 2015 figure of 363 per 1000 population for country.
Malaria death rate decreased across age group by 40.9% and currently 72% of all households in the country are protected from malaria with Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs), an increase from 3,2% in 2003.
Nasco Electronics, a Korean-based electronic manufacturer has announced a four-year partnership with the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
As part of the deal, Nasco will sponsor awards that will be handed out to players, coaches, administrators and clubs over the course of the season.
The awards that will be handed out by the electronics company include Man-of-the-match awards, coach and player of the month awards.
Nasco will hand over to the winners a Nasco X-5 branded phone.
According to Nasco, a unique voting system would be used to determine the winners.
The product deal is worth GHC 253,000 per season.
Nasco Electronics has also agreed to sponsor this year’s PLB Awards at the end of the season.