1 Sep 2017

'Galamsey': Trading Life For A Quid

Water is life because the human body consists of about 70% water. It must, however, be known that not any water is life. It is only clean and safe water that can give life. Polluted water does the opposite. Polluted water is not just water that looks physically dirty. It is also water that may contain strong chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, DDT, cyanide and other chemicals substances that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Illegal miners use some of these chemicals in their activities without proper regulations. These minerals eventually get washed into and pollute water bodies.
Some (if not all) of these overzealous money scavengers lack knowledge of the dangers associated with these chemicals of the trade.
Image - Illegal miners in Ghana
Illegal mining is popularly called 'galamsey' in Ghana. Image Courtesy: Citifmonline
We complain about the destruction of water bodies due to 'galamsey' activities. We blame Chinese nationals for coming to destroy our environment with heavy-duty equipment. We threaten to deport them but, after their government intervenes with a loan facility, we allow them to continue and pretend we are working on it.

My question is, where do the Chinese nationals pass to enter into our country with their heavy-duty machines? How did they get access to the land? How come, without any exploratory work, they are able to identify our mineral deposits right away?


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If we are serious about fighting illegal mining, why did we make it acceptable for Ghanaians? Don't Ghanaian nationals use cyanide and mercury in mining? It is no wonder we are still struggling very hard to bring the 'galamsey' menace under control.


We have 'Special Forces' who only show up on independence day to partake in march pasts. I am wondering what we keep the so-called 'Special Forces' for while we have a threat to life at hand. Remember, water and life are inextricably linked. A threat to quality water is a threat to life. The 'galamsey' menace is more dangerous than terrorism. It has the potential of automatically shutting down everything.


So, congrats to the Akufo-Addo government for deciding to crack the whip on this menace which threatens our very existence. We hope the verve with which this anti-galamsey agenda was pursued would be sustained.

6 Jul 2017

Ghana's 'Crazy' Democracy

Democracy seems to be Ghana's problem. Politicians are more concerned with winning elections than doing the right thing. This is why indiscipline is gradually taking over our society. People do all manner of things and go scot-free in the name of democracy. Corrupt officials get away with their booty because there is a ghost called "due process". Political party fanatics can intimidate people at will and are sure to go unpunished because their party is in power. These overzealous ones often forget that they can't win power alone. They forget that other people played a part in bringing their party to power.

We have graduates picketing almost on a daily basis at no other place than the ministries to pressurize the government to post them. These same ones will be seen there again in a year or two, after being posted, to demand payment of salaries. For how long must this continue?
Image - Ghana flag
Image Courtesy IEA Ghana

Why don't we allow the government to do the right thing? Have we lost trust in the government? If the government tells you that there is no money for extra labor because it is still struggling to deal with the numbers already employed and you force them to employ you under duress, why do you complain again when you are not being paid? Why do we find it difficult to trust our leaders?

The leaders are also to take part of the blame for allowing themselves to be pushed around as if they know not what they are about. If you kowtow to people's requests instead of doing a professional job because there are elections to win at all cost, this will be the result. Why must it always be about the next election? Could it also be that our leaders are deceiving us concerning the state of the national kitty? If not, how come they are always able to grant financial clearance for people to be employed after picketing?

Why must unemployed graduates march to a ministry to picket because they want the government to employ them? And because the government always yields to such pressures it has become the norm of the day. Some even go to sleep and spend days there. Election-minded ministers who are afraid of losing the next election will then push them into the workforce knowing very well there are not enough funds to pay them salaries.

How long would this craze continue? Is this how we plan to develop our nation?

26 May 2017

African Union: Where Is The Unity?

Africans just observed the African Union Day on 25th May. This day is observed annually to mark the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which has metamorphosed into the African Union (AU). The objectives of the union include fostering greater unity among its members, defending the sovereignty of its members, accelerating the political and socio-economic integration of its members, etc.


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Image - African Union logo
Image courtesy Wikipedia

However, from the time I began recognizing this day and the summits that accompany it, I have always seen divisions at such meetings. People take entrenched positions on issues and are often unwilling to back down on such positions. A compromise is never reached on any issue.

One would wonder why a union can be so disunited. That all of its members are still on their own. Every country does whatever it thinks makes good sense without recourse to a supposed union.


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The political and economic invasion of Africa has assumed an alarming proportion. The Chinese have found a new dumping ground for their inferior goods. The Americans and Russians now have a new market for their weapons. The many the wars, the more guns would be sold. Examples of such incidents were the events that led to the notorious and uncouth invasions of Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Libya.

Surprisingly, no African leader uttered a word to condemn these Western-backed actions. Ghana's late President John Atta-Mills was asked about his opinion on the Ivory Coast invasion by France and he jokingly told the reporter in the local Fante language, "Dzi wo fie asem", meaning he should mind his own business. And that appeared to be the stance of all African leaders at the time on that issue.

Yet, these leaders will not spare any opportunity to drink beer together at a supposed union meeting whose legislations are not binding on any country.