Former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has refused to engage in a verbal exchange with the chiefs and elders of Kyebi over allegations of illegal small-scale mining occurring close to the President’s residence. In a 37-page report, Prof Frimpong-Boateng stated that galamsey activities were happening a few meters from President Akufo-Addo’s home.
However, the Kyebi Traditional Council strongly denied the allegations and demanded proof from the former minister. The council’s chief, Osabarima Marfo Kwabrane, challenged Prof Frimpong-Boateng to come and show where the illegal mining activities were taking place.
The former minister, speaking on the Ghana Tonight Show with Alfred Ocansey, refused to engage in a quarrel with the chiefs and elders of Kyebi. He urged Ghanaians to decide for themselves, adding that the person to answer the question is Eric Antwi, a staff of the office of the President, who was described in his report.
For the most part, the issue of illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey, has been a contentious issue in Ghana for several years, with many calling for an end to the practice due to its devastating effects on the environment. However, despite the government’s efforts to clamp down on illegal mining, allegations of its prevalence continue to surface, with the latest being the claims by Prof Frimpong-Boateng.
The former minister’s allegations have sparked debate and controversy, with the Kyebi Traditional Council refuting the claims and demanding proof. The council’s position has, in turn, raised concerns about the effectiveness of the government’s efforts to curb illegal mining, particularly when allegations are being dismissed by those in authority.
It is, therefore, imperative for the government to take steps to address these allegations and ensure that its efforts to clamp down on illegal mining are not being undermined. This will require transparency and accountability in the government’s actions to tackle galamsey, as well as the cooperation of communities affected by the menace.
In a nutshell, the allegations of illegal small-scale mining occurring near the President’s residence have raised important questions about the government’s efforts to clamp down on galamsey. While the Kyebi Traditional Council has denied the claims, the government must ensure that such allegations are thoroughly investigated and addressed to avoid undermining its efforts.