12:48, 12.Sep 2017
The Ashanti Regional chapter of the Small Scale Miners Association is expected to embark on their planned demonstration dubbed ‘Yere bre’, to wit, ‘we are suffering’ today Tuesday, 12 September 2017.
According to the group, the action is to register their displeasure at government’s stance on small-scale mining after the expiration of the six months ban on their legitimate enterprise.
The ban was part of government’s move to fight illegal mining but the group argues their main source of livelihood is being destroyed as long as the ban remains in force.
Speaking to Class News ahead of the demonstration, Assistant Secretary of the association, Kwame Appiah, said: “From day one as patriotic Ghanaians, we all complied with the government’s initiative because we are all witnesses to the sort of pollution that was happening all over the country and on our various river bodies and also how degraded the land was subjected to due to the activities of these illegal operators within the sector.
“So we all worked hand in hand with government to try to make sure we sanitise the system. That was why even with our legitimate documents we complied with government’s directive because we all wanted to achieve the same results in getting the system sanitised for future mining operations.
“But after a series of consultations and engagements, we are yet to receive any positive signs from government. We owe a lot of banks and the banks are on our necks. We can’t even afford to pay the fees of our wards… so we thought it wise to demonstrate peacefully to make all Ghanaians know the sort of hardship that we are going through. We want government to come out and give us the opportunity to go back to our various places of operations so that we can also contribute our quota to the development of this country.”