Galamsey: $100,000 will make even the most honest policeman corrupt

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A former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr Tony Aubynn has said the dependence on human efforts to fight illegal mining otherwise known as galamsey will continue to fail for one simple reason. He said even the most honest policeman or military man deployed to stop the practice will lay low when he is given good money.

According to Dr Tony Aubynn as quoted by 3news, “If somebody is doing galamsey and the Policeman who is very honest and the Military man who is very honest go to try and stop this and the Military man is given like 100,000 Dollars…the most honest person might stay back and say $100,000 dollars is in the bush, may I take it for my children school fees and all that”.

His statement is in support of his call for the fight against galamsey to be technology-enabled instead of human-led. He said if technology is deployed to stop the practice there would be a better chance of winning than if humans continue to be the lead fighting tools.

The former Minerals Commission CEO said, “…we need to reduce the impact of humans in trying to regularise these activities and it is possible, these days that technology is making almost everything possible, we need to look at that angle”.

Illegal mining has been torn in the flesh of the Ghanaian government with increasing pressure on the government to find solutions. Many of the country’s rivers have been rendered useless as a result of illegal mining. Farmlands have been converted to mining sites with the country’s food production and cocoa production under threat unless solutions come fast.

Technologies such as satellite imagery, geospatial technology and drones could be used to fight the menace. Blockchain technology could also be deployed to manage mining permits and licensing. The government has already deployed some of those technologies in the fight but much effort has still been kept in human-led operations with the military and police being the main actors in the fight.

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