Some illegal miners in Tarkwa-Breman in the Prestea Huni-Valley of the Western Region, have vowed to vote against their Member of Parliament (MP), Madam Barbara Oteng Gyasi in the next general election for waging a war against illegal mining.
The MP is a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
The miners expressed their anger when the Sector Minister, Mr John Peter Amewu led a team to visit some mining sites in the Western Region on Sunday.The visit followed the expiration of the three-week ultimatum the Minister gave to all illegal miners to evacuate their equipment and leave mining sites.
James Adu told the GNA that 90 per cent of the youth in the town depended on illegal mining, otherwise known as galamsey, for their livelihoods; therefore, disbanding it would throw them out of business.He said he owned four excavators and employed other people to do illegal mining.
Nana Akyea, also an illegal miner, said before the 2016 general election the then opposition New Patriotic Party assured them that when it assumed the reins of government it would encourage mining hence the youth in the area voted massively for the MP and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Nana Abban, another illegal miner, said the alternative livelihood programme the government would like to introduce would not be sustainable.He said mining was the preferred business for most of the youth therefore the government must put measures in place to absorb them into the mainstream mining.
He said he had used proceeds from mining to support his younger siblings in school and that also sustain his family.Illegal mining has polluted water bodies and degraded the vegetation.The Media Coalition comprising major media houses in the country have launched anti-galamsey campaign to galvanise public support against the menace.
The government has given its support to clamp down on illegal mining and sustain the fight for the next five years.