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03.11.2005 Press Release

Place An Immediate Moratorium On Surface Mining In Ghana

By Youth4 Ghana
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“Place An Immediate Moratorium On Surface Mining In Ghana For Cost – Benefit Analysis First”. Government Told By Youth For Action Ghana.

We wish to be associated with the call sounded by Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACCAM) for the reconsideration of the EPA recent decision to allow BGL to go ahead with their mining activity in the Himan and Sanso areas of Asante. While we appreciate that the EPA and the Member of Parliament for the area have allowed themselves to be bought or misled by these gold diggers at the expense of the environment and human life which they are supposed to protect, we are also convinced that their unpatriotic act(s) will kill this nation if not checked.

Apart from the facts we have as to the use of state security by these Miners to perpetuate in Ghana their blood sucking menace in times past, there are even more and worse revealing human rights abuses recorded in recent times. Only yesterday, 2nd November, 2005, at New Abirem, NewMont – Akyem secured the assistance of our military and police to rain physical assault on the citizens, which has resulted in serious fatal cases. Where is this country heading? What have we got from mining all these years against the fact that mining has taken so much from us? All we can think of now is that, a son of this soil was knighted by the British queen for enriching the United Kingdom to the disadvantage of the motherland.

At the release of the 2005 United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) report, it has become clear that, out of the US$1billion that was generated out of Ghana in 2003/2004 through mining alone, only US$46million was kept to take care of the environmental mess, social responsibility, compensation, government revenue etc. How can we claim progress or so much development under such conditions? This is broad day robbery and extreme exploitation by foreigners with the open connivance of indigenes who are supposed to protect and secure our future.

We in Youth for Action Ghana, call on the Government of Ghana to place an immediate moratorium on surface mining in Ghana. So that we can do a critical cost and benefit analysis of mining in this country. We believe that the future is for us, our children and their children. If we let some careless elder generation destroy it, we shall suffer. It is with this conviction that we call on all the youth of Ghana, civil society organizations, NGOs, the Labour Unions, and all well meaning Ghanaians to stand up for Ghana. 'Yen ara yen asaase ni!' must ring now more than before in the ears of each of us.

These ugly and nauseating happenings in the mining areas of Ghana all point to the fact that the current bill on mining must be considered with seriousness and an attitude of placing Ghana first and above individual interests. If we indeed do not check the activities of the miners and the environmental laws we have in Ghana, this nation will suffer. The humiliation meted out to the people sitting on the gold is far beyond foul and something must be done about it immediately. It is such neglect, exploitation and abuse that led to wars in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Angola, Somalia, Liberia, and the DR Congo. Let Ghana take lessons from these African countries. Mining has proven to be nations' wrecker than a partner in development.

We vehemently oppose the lifting of the ban on the activities of BGL, and the continuous stay of mining companies in Ghana at the direct expense of the citizenry, the national economy and the environment. Enough is enough! This must stop!

Arise Ghana youth for your country. The nation demands your devotion. Let's make her great and strong. We are all involved. God save Ghana!

James Kwabena Bomfeh Jnr Executive Director +233 24 453 54 72

3rd November, 2005.

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