Dr Albert Kobbina Mensah, a Soil Research Officer at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has expressed concerns about the military's approach to tackling the galamsey menace, stating that it has been ineffective since its introduction in the 1980s.
Speaking at a virtual policy dialogue organized by the YAFO Institute, Dr Mensah highlighted the various operations conducted over the years, such as Operation Fight Galamsey in 2006, Operation Flash Out Artisanal Small Mining (ASM) in 2013, Operation Vanguard in 2017, and Operation Halt in 2021. Despite these efforts, the desired results have not been achieved.
Dr Mensah criticized the activities of the military personnel deployed to ASM sites, describing their approach as ineffective.
He emphasized that the military's approach merely involved commanding and controlling the local population, without proper checks and balances to address officers who violate the laws. He urged the government to recognize the importance of mining for the livelihoods of the people.
He emphasized the importance of adopting a scientific approach to address the challenges, rather than leaving it solely in the hands of politicians.
Mr Dwamena recommended that successive governments establish well-structured rules and guidelines to ensure sustainable mining practices and the restoration of the country's depleted natural resources.