The main tool for Galamsey is the excavator. How many ordinary Ghanaians can afford to purchase just one excavator?. Not even a dozen, just one. A machine that cost an average of 120,000 dollars?. This question has been asked severally, and the answer, whether provided or ignored is understood by common sense as indirectly stating the fact that, only deep pocket, influential and powerful people do or finance galamsey.
The activity is a capital intensive one. It is a venture for the rich. They buy machines and hand them to the innocent job seeking youth who do the earth moving works and risk their lives for these hidden entrepreneurs.
The military and the police in their quest to arrest and stop these illegal activities do not take their operations beyond the depleted pits;-site of the galamsey activities. When they arrest these manual labourers found in the forest and within the pits, they move on. That is lazy, or coward approach.
Is it not about time we begin to dig deeper, and to ask questions such as;
1. Who are the real owners of these heavy expensive machines?
2. Who are the leasees and leasers of these galamsey lands?
3. In whose name are the seized excavators registered? (A simple check with the Driver vehicle and license Authority DVLA Will show)
They say, to permanently kill the snake, you must cut off its head. These financiers cum galamsey entrepreneurs are the 'heads' of the galamsey trade. If the fight remains in the realm of catching smaller 'fishes', then we are going nowhere.
Is it also not surprising that, never in the records of arresting galamsay operators have we seen these rich prominent individuals being part of the arrest, even though it is an open secrete that big wigs are involved?. Suffice to say, we are only ploughing the surfaces of the problem.
When Otumfour Osei Tutu, the Asantehene mentioned recently in that famous video that, about 30% of the people gathered in the room he is addressing know those who do galamsey, he was speaking to ministers of state, chiefs and prominent figures in the society. Just like the Otumfour, these are the people this article is pointing at.
The Chiefs of these galamsey areas, high ranking government official and politicians, the DCEs whose jurisdictions have hosted the activities are all faking ignorance. They can stop it, if only they are not involved themselves.
Excavators on their own do not destroy the water bodies, people do. Why then burn the excavator and leave out the owners? Until and unless we get serious in this fight by going after the so-called big men who hide behind the cloak of politics and traditional authority to fuel this illegality, the fight will remain an illusion.
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