The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, wants the Akufo-Addo led administration to admit that it has failed in the fight against illegal mining.
He said contrary to the high marks government has scored itself in the three-year campaign against illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, evidence on the ground suggests the progress made is negligible.
“I hear people talk about success and I ask myself ‘what is our measure of success?’ I mean how successful is a project when it gives you a worse outcome? Today the turbidity levels our water is worse than it used to be,” he said, Saturday on JoyNews’ news analysis programme, Newsfile.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng, recently rejected similar criticisms that the fight against illegal mining has been a failure, claiming that the campaign has recorded a 70% success rate.
Speaking to the press after President Nana Akufo- Addo delivered this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament, the Minister said the galamsey fight cannot be described as a total failure and that the positives outweigh the negatives.
His defense for his outfit follows corruption allegations levelled against the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, tasked to spearhead the process.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng debunked the corruption claims insisting that he has not misconducted himself has been alleged.
Praising effort instead of outcomes
Reacting to this and other issues that have come up about the fight against illegal mining, Mr Suhuyini, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Lands and Forestry said that he has read studies on Ghana that shows that the turbidity levels of water bodies along areas where galamsey is intense have gotten worse.
He said in that same report, researchers revealed that diseases in the communities along some rivers have increased.
He was, however, unable to name the authors or title of that study.
“If in the face of the failure, we still can placate ourselves and talk success then our measure of success is that low and I think it is shameful,” he said.
In his opinion, the campaign was supposed to achieve high results for the environment and the mining industry, hence whatever government is commending itself as success is most likely a sham.
“We launched out to improve a situation [but] as we speak the situation has not improved. Yes, we may have engaged in some commendable works and acts but …it has not improved.
“Maybe we are more interested in effort than the outcome. If we want to praise ourselves for effort, I will not fault that. I am not that kind. I think that I want outcomes, I want results,” stressed.