China to fund Ghana’s ‘alternative livelihood program’ for illegal miners

The Chinese government is willing to give Ghana a grant to fund its intended multilateral mining integrated project, which seeks to sanitise the small scale mining sector.

An initial amount of about 10 million dollars is needed to be able to roll out the programme, and according to the Project Coordinator, Dr. Isaac Karikari, the Chinese government has indicated its readiness offer government a grant for the programme.

The multilateral mining integrated project will be a holistic approach to combat illegal mining and will pivot around the application of technology and enforcement of the law as well as supervision.

It is an alternative livelihood programme for illegal miners, popularly referred to as galamsey, whose activities have polluted water bodies, depleted vast forest covers and destroyed farmlands among other natural resources across the country.

Currently, government has initiated steps to clamp down on illegal mining.

The five-year project which is yet to be approved by cabinet, was top on the issues discussed during a meeting held by departmental heads of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources at Aburi in the Eastern Region.

Coordinator of the project, Dr Karikari admitted it would be difficult to be executed but was confident it would be the best way to sanitise the sector.

Meanwhile, following a meeting with the Ivorian delegation, few days ago, a Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, says a team has been set up from both countries to ascertain the extent at which illegal mining is destroying water bodies in Ivory Coast.