The Media Coalition Against illegal Mining is appealing to the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to sensitize judges adjudicating galamsey cases on the need to hand out sanctions deterrent enough to perpetrators of illegal mining.
The Coalition said current sanctions were not deterrent enough, stating that with stricter sanctions, the fight against illegal mining can be won.
The Coalition made this known during a two-day working visit to the Upper East Region.
Kofi Larweh, a member of the steering committee of the Coalition, said they were worried about the sentences meted out to galamseyers, saying, it does not significantly contribute to the fight against galamsey.
“There are many levels of dealing with the fight against galamsey ranging from institutional, community, traditional and government. When it comes to government, one of the areas which is of much concern to us now has to do with the kind of sentencing or punishment meted out by the courts to galamseyers.”
“For each punishment, you have various amounts that people pay, but when you look at what they have been slapped with, it’s the barest minimum, and so we are appealing to the Chief Justice, Gloria Akuffo that judges should be sensitized to increase or enforce maximum punishment when sentencing galamseyers,” he said.
Mr. Larweh noted that, empowering traditional rulers with oversight responsibility on illegal mining could also contribute significantly to fighting the menace.
According to the Minerals Commission in the Upper East Region, only twenty-one (21) out of about 220 applications for small-scale mining have been licensed for operations.