The ban on illegal mining activities in parts of the Ashanti Region is said to be worsening the economic conditions of residents and affecting the revenue generated by government agencies for developmental projects.
In the Obuasi Municipality, for example, the Presiding Member (PM) Faustina Amissah has disclosed to Kumasi-based Abusua Fm that the assembly in the last couple of months is unable to meet its revenue target.
According to her, Internally Generated Funds are nothing to write home about in the midst of collapsing businesses in the area; blaming the situation to the ban on mining activities in the area.
She told host Kwame Adinkra that it has rather given way to an upsurge in criminal activities including armed robbery which has left residents living in fear.
“We are no longer able to meet our revenue targets and this is affecting development in the area because this is the same amount we use in building schools, clinics, CHPS Compounds and other projects”, she revealed.
“Robbery attacks have increased at Obuasi because majority of the youth are now jobless. When we sell nobody buys. Our businesses are collapsing because there is no work after government ban on galamsey. We are appealing to the government to lift the ban on galamsey to help boost economic activities at Obuasi and other mining communities,” she emphasized.
Lands and Natural sources Minister, John Peter Amewu has disclosed that the ban on small-scale mining will be extended to buy time in order to find pragmatic ways in dealing with the menace
According to him, initial assessment of the ban shows only 15 percent of the set target has been achieved making it improper to lift the ban.
The Minister hinted that that about 70 percent of small-scale miners would have to secure fresh certificates if they want to remain in business.
The move according to him is part of government’s effort to ensure sustained mining in the country and also protect the heavily polluted water bodies in the country.
But Faustina Amissah is appealing to government to reconsider its decision to ban mining activities in the area since it has a toll on economic activities disclosing that more than 30 major shops have been forced to close down as a result of low patronage in view of the ban.