The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, has described as “laughable” and “wasteful” Ghana’s approach of burning excavators as part of measures to fight illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
At the height of fighting the galamsey menace, the government ordered the Operation Halt team, made up of soldiers and Policemen to set ablaze all excavators found at galamsey sites used for illegal mining.
These earth-moving machines were set ablaze on sight. This approach was condemned by a section of the populace and civil society but government insisted on burning them.
Sharing his view on the current economic crisis which he says is self-inflicted, Togbe Afede XIV, while identifying galamsey as one of the many challenges facing the country in a statement noted that the nation’s approach toward fighting galamsey is wrong.
“There is no doubt in my mind that our resort to prayers and deities, instead of the law, to stop the massive destruction of our environment by unregulated small-scale miners has presented a negative outlook for our country, generally, and its economy, in particular,” he stated.
He said “at a time when environmental sustainability and issues about climate change have dominated discussions at almost every level of global policy dialogue, it is shocking that we can remain, apathetic bystanders, while a few people destroy our agricultural land and water bodies. It is hard to imagine any other country which will tolerate that level of environmental degradation.”
“It was not only a bad environmental practice, but laughable and wasteful to burn a few excavators, which probably cost foreign exchange to bring in, as a way of showing commitment to fighting galamsey,” he added.