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19.08.2005 General News

NDC expresses concern over "galamsey" victims

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Accra, Aug. 19, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Friday expressed concern at the apparent "dead-end" to the search and rescue efforts to save the lives of more than 40 small-scale gold diggers, who were allegedly trapped following the caving-in of a pit where they were prospecting for gold at Noyem-Nyanfuman in the Eastern Region.

A statement signed by Mr Bede A. Zeideng, Acting General Secretary, in Accra said: "Whilst mourning with relatives of the victims over the unfortunate incident, the NDC is greatly appalled at the disinterest government had shown over the fate of fellow Ghanaians, who were just looking for a means of survival as a result of the unbearable economic hardships prevailing in the country."

The NDC said it was important to observe that it took almost a week before a high-ranking government official visited the scene and government had not involved its specialized agencies in the search and rescue operations.

"Instead, this task has been left totally in the hands of private mining institutions that are obviously overwhelmed by the magnitude of this national catastrophe."

The NDC expressed regret over the deaths and urged more diligent efforts at retrieving all the trapped bodies.