The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has called on the steering committee of the Media Coalition against illegal mining (galamsey) to explore partnership opportunities in the media campaign against illegal mining.
A Media Coalition against illegal mining comprising major media organisations in the country was launched on April 5, 2017 to wage a crusade against the menace. At the meeting which was held in Accra last Wednesday, both institutions resolved to come up with a schedule as soon as possible to guide and make the partnership effective. The two discussed the impact of illegal mining on biodiversity, human and other consequences such as security threats and health implications and how they could be addressed
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited and convener of the coalition, Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, underscored the need for a holistic solution and approach to resolving the menace. A holistic solution, he said, required a lot of credible information through research and other sources and called on all stakeholders to partner the media to propel a national win against illegal mining to ensure a better future for generations unborn.
To begin with the era of the activity-based campaign, he said, April 21, 2017 had been declared a National Red Friday for members of the coalition, on which day members of the coalition and persons concerned about the campaign were expected to dress in red apparels to send a message to the government that illegal mining and bad mining practices had to be stopped without compromise. “The coalition will from today move the campaign from just sensitising the public through the media to a higher level including national stakeholder engagements,” he stated.
Mr. Ashigbey said the coalition would initiate a national dialogue on how to amicably resolve the illegal mining issues and how to reclaim lost biodiversity as a result of illegal mining and bad mining practices. He submitted that the coalition would continue to hold state functionaries and institutions to account and ensure that they lived up to expectation as part of measures to addressing problems associated with mining in Ghana.He said the coalition would engage citizenry at the micro level and, therefore, the steering committee of the coalition was considering town hall and community meetings to enhance the national discourse on ending illegal mining.
The Chairman of the NCCE, Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, who led a six-member delegation from her outfit to the meeting, said considering similar work done by the commission in the past, the NCCE was in the position to understand the situation and better support the campaign.
“Having done some work initially, we are poised to partner other stakeholders, especially the media coalition, which has a better platform and power to win the fight against illegal and bad mining practices,” she stated.
In a related development, representatives of the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA) Ghana also called on the steering committee to discuss the way forward.
The representatives were the Director of Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Professor Osmond Ansah-Asare, and the President of IAIA. Ghana, Mr. Yaw Annoyaw-Osei.