December 8, 2022

It's all About Jesus

From Eric’s Diary: The ‘Galamsey’ fight – role of the stomach

0Shares

It is trite knowledge that there are some aspects of the functioning of the human body that we as humans have very little control over.

They include nature’s call – urinate and or defecate, sleep and hunger. They come when they may.

I have explained here before that like the computer experiences forced shutdown when there is a problem, sleep is a signal that the body is tired. It is for this reason that sleep can occur even when one is supposedly engaged in activities such as listening to a sermon in church, attending lectures, participating in a meeting or even while driving.

Similarly, hunger occurs when the body needs food. Although it is possible for humans to go without food, that is only for a while. That is why Christians who for one reason or the other need to fast, find a way of eating at one point or the other. Some are compelled to do what they call fruit fasting.

It is also the reason why Muslims undertake the mandatory fast from sunrise to sunset. Needless to mention that they are teased for overeating breakfast in order to store enough food in the stomach that would last the whole day. Those who are not able to store enough food in the tummy for the period are the ones who look a pale shadow of themselves after the Ramadan.

The role of the stomach in the human body

Like all organs of the body, the stomach plays a very important role. Any challenge with this organ can be really discomforting.

According to my.clevelandclinic.org, “Your stomach is a muscular organ that digests food. It is part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When your stomach receives food, it contracts and produces acids and enzymes that break down food. When your stomach has broken down food, it passes it to your small intestine.”

The significance of the stomach to the effective functioning of the body is underscored by the fact that failure to provide what it needs to function-Food, can have dire consequences for anyone who does so. The repercussions include; Fatigue, getting ill more often, hair loss, reproductive difficulties, constantly feeling cold, impaired growth in young people, skin problems and depression.

Now I know that my mother, not too lettered as she was, knew the importance of food for the stomach and by extension, the human body. Hence, her decision to use denial of supper as punishment for wrong doing as mentioned in my previous article.

What is ‘galamsey’?

There is no gainsaying the fact the entire land on which Ghana is situated is full of precious mineral deposits- Gold, diamond, manganese, bauxite and even clay.

It is for this reason that the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 900) and the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) as well as the Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450) have been put in place to regulate this sector.

Consequently, requirements have been established for any individual or organisation desirous of mining any of the aforementioned minerals to meet.

In this regard, there are large scale miners such as Anglogold Ashanti, Newmont Ghana and Gold Fields Ghana among others. Numerous licensed small scale miners also exist across the country. The third category is the small scale miners who without recourse to the existing regulatory framework, resort to mining anywhere they deem fit. This is the group that has been referred to as engaging in ‘galamsey’.

This is a word that has become common in media reportage and national discussions for a while now. Knowing that it is not an English word, I sought to know its origin. I found on https://en.wiktionary.org/ that it is derived from the phrase “gather them and sell” and it is a reference to Illegal, small-scale gold mining in Ghana.

It has been the go to activity for many a youth who does not have a job. Businessmen including politicians who have the wherewithal have also invested in equipment that aid in carrying out this illegality. Worse still, Ghanaians who do not have the means, have teamed up with Chinese nationals to engage in ‘galamsey’. A notable Chinese name in this regard is En Huang, a.k.a Aisha Huang who goes by the nickname ‘Galamsey Kingpin’. Thankfully, she is currently being prosecuted with three accomplices.

The ‘galamseyers’ have degraded very huge hectares of land and destroyed many rivers across the country. Forest reserves have even not been spared. Indeed, the consequences of ‘galamsey’ have proven to be very disastrous. What scares me most is the threat it poses to availability of potable water in the near future as warned by the authorities of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL). Water is life, you know!

And my colleague Erastus Asare Donkor of Luv FM brought this reality home to me when he put samples of water from several rivers which have been polluted due to ‘galamsey’ activities, into transparent containers. As a pupil of the Alpha Beta School in Dansoman described the new look of the water bodies on JoyNews’ The Probe, they looked like ‘This way’ chocolate drink.

The role of stakeholders in fighting ‘galamsey’

Commendably, successive governments have demonstrated their resolve to end illegal mining and the danger it poses. Military-led interventions such as Operation Vanguard, Galamstop and Operation Halt have been experimented for this purpose. President Akufo-Addo is on record to have said that he will put his presidency on the line to ensure the success of this fight. According to him, he lost a few votes in ‘galamsey’ communities during the last election so that should indicate to us how serious his commitment is.

The Ghana Chamber of Mines, Non-Governmental Organisations and policy think tanks have done their bit towards ending this canker. However, the results of these efforts leave so much to be desired.

Why this is so, is the source of worry for all concerned Ghanaians. While government officials blame chiefs, they in turn have accused politicians for the status quo as regards illegal mining. This blame game seems to have infuriated the usually diplomatic Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Read what he told members of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs on Friday as reported by myjoyonline.com:

“You send military men to galamsey sites; they end up arresting labourers covered with mud. This is someone hired by a big fish to work at his site. Who is the final receiver of the gold? How come the one who bought excavators is left off the hook? The military as usual photograph a poor labourer whose body is always covered in dirt; a man who receives a paltry 200, 300 cedis from a financier.

Then they say they have arrested galamsey operators. What then happens to the financier? How come he is not arrested? Are they saying they don’t know those behind ‘galamsey’ in Ghana?  The gold ends up being sold abroad. So who is behind the sale of gold abroad? Is it not the financier? How come he is not arrested? Once the financier is arrested, we will put an end to ‘galamsey’ so our water bodies can be saved. They should give us a break!”

The role of the stomach in the failure of the fight against ‘galamsey’

From my observation, the main reason why efforts to end the menace has failed, can be summed up into two words- Food and greed. If www.dictionary.com defines greed as ‘intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food”, then we are left with only one word- FOOD.

Stated differently, if you agree that the underlying cause of greed is the need to satisfy chiefly, the requirement of the stomach, then you should also concur that the main cause of ‘galamsey’ is food.

As alluded to above, hunger is one of the natural occurrences in the human body that we have no control over. It is that feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food which is followed by the quest to eat.

As long as one is human, when this feeling strikes, the only way of addressing it is to find food to fill the stomach. While some people grow their own food, through subsistence farming or gardening, most of us use money we work for in exchange for food.

That is to say that, to find food, one must work. Unfortunately, there are many Ghanaians who, although are able and willing to work, do not have jobs to do. Again, successive governments and private organisations have done what they could to create employment opportunities. However, the number of opportunities available do not match that which is required.

As a result, some youth, for the sake of food, have offered their services to the greedy financiers. Some workers who were arrested at some of the ‘galamsey’ sites confirmed my theory. They said in Twi, “Wei aa na y3y3 didie” – this is the only thing we feed from. There are other ‘galamsey’ workers who boast that they earn more than the minimum wage.

The self-styled chief of Dompim-Pepesa, where ‘galamsey’ is rife, Nana Nyowah Panyin IV, a.k.a Nathaniel Dekyi, also justified my supposition when he spoke from a hideout to Kojo Yankson on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM. “If I should tell you what had transpired yesterday, it was an eyesore. Last three days, I had an interview with Captain Smart. After the interview, a group of men …said I want to take from their mouths, the very food that they are eating,” he said in a voice laced with fear.

Then it was the turn of the Leader and Founder of Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Akpaloo to attest to my hypothesis: “It saddens my heart to see residents struggling to get 10 cedis for food despite the gloomy pictures in the environment,” he bemoaned after visiting an illegal mining site.

Plus, there was this old farmer who was shown on TV3 saying that he feels proud to have sold his cocoa farm for ‘galamsey’. According to him, he has been farming for 25 years without anything to show for it. In contrast, after selling his farm for illegal mining, he has in no time been able to build a two-bedroom house and is able to feed his family.

Now, please tell me that it is not because of food that Captain (Rtd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, a former Deputy Minister for the Interior, failed presidential aspirant on the ticket of the NPP,  who is now limping on one leg, would take up an opportunity to defend Aisha Huang.

Somebody should tell him, that he can justify his decision all he can. The simple truth is that his main consideration is the money that he will make to satisfy the cravings of his stomach and the medical bills that await him.

Again, someone should convince me that it is not because of the other word related to food that the immediate past Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Freddie Wosimewu Blay, has decided to defend the alleged accomplices of En Huang. Otherwise, why would the supposed owner of Daily Guide Network- Newspaper, online portal and TV station as well as Blay and Associates, offer to be the counsel for persons alleged to be involved in destroying our land and water bodies? They are innocent until proven guilty, we know that.

All objective minded persons, are asking him to desist. But no. Even his fellow party member and Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Abu Jinapor does not support his decision, still. His defence is that the accused deserve representation and he, as a professional lawyer, has sworn an oath to defend accused persons, hence he has committed no crime. Mr. Blay, all we are saying is that the optics ain’t good. It does not augur well for the expressed commitment of the government that you are part of ‘oo ton’.

It’s time to go

Having established the need to satisfy the stomach as the root cause of the ‘galamsey’ menace, it behooves the powers that be to direct some attention to providing alternative livelihoods for the young men who are compelled to offer their services for this illicit activity due to the quest to quench their hunger. Providing jobs could help reduce this menace significantly, I think. Similarly, the laws must be enforced to prevent the ‘greedy bastards’ from having their way. We owe this to our future generation.

While I am on employment creation, I read a statement by the rector of GIMPA, Professor Samuel Kwaku Bonsu with utter shock. That government does not owe anybody a job?  “The government doesn’t owe anybody a job. In fact, really nobody owes anybody a job. It is up to us as individuals looking for jobs to find them or create them,” he told Blessed Sogah, host of The Pulse on JoyNews, Friday, October 7, 2022.

How? Please ask the Prof to read the Directive Principles of State Policy in the 1992 Constitution- 36 (1) “The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”

Let our professors, refrain from saying what they don’t know. He cannot be the head of a Public Administration school and say this.

Do pobachennia – That’s goodbye in Ukrainian language.

Let God lead: Follow Him directly, not through any human.

The writer works at Myjoyonline.com. He is also the author of two books whose contents share knowledge on how anyone desirous of writing like him can do so. Eric can be reached via email eric.mensah-ayettey@myjoyonline.comThe two books cost GHC80.00.

It is trite knowledge that there are some aspects of the functioning of the human body that we as humans have very little control over.

They include nature’s call – urinate and or defecate, sleep and hunger. They come when they may.

I have explained here before that like the computer experiences forced shutdown when there is a problem, sleep is a signal that the body is tired. It is for this reason that sleep can occur even when one is supposedly engaged in activities such as listening to a sermon in church, attending lectures, participating in a meeting or even while driving.

Similarly, hunger occurs when the body needs food. Although it is possible for humans to go without food, that is only for a while. That is why Christians who for one reason or the other need to fast, find a way of eating at one point or the other. Some are compelled to do what they call fruit fasting.

It is also the reason why Muslims undertake the mandatory fast from sunrise to sunset. Needless to mention that they are teased for overeating breakfast in order to store enough food in the stomach that would last the whole day. Those who are not able to store enough food in the tummy for the period are the ones who look a pale shadow of themselves after the Ramadan.

The role of the stomach in the human body

Like all organs of the body, the stomach plays a very important role. Any challenge with this organ can be really discomforting.

According to my.clevelandclinic.org, “Your stomach is a muscular organ that digests food. It is part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When your stomach receives food, it contracts and produces acids and enzymes that break down food. When your stomach has broken down food, it passes it to your small intestine.”

The significance of the stomach to the effective functioning of the body is underscored by the fact that failure to provide what it needs to function-Food, can have dire consequences for anyone who does so. The repercussions include; Fatigue, getting ill more often, hair loss, reproductive difficulties, constantly feeling cold, impaired growth in young people, skin problems and depression.

Now I know that my mother, not too lettered as she was, knew the importance of food for the stomach and by extension, the human body. Hence, her decision to use denial of supper as punishment for wrong doing as mentioned in my previous article.

What is ‘galamsey’?

There is no gainsaying the fact the entire land on which Ghana is situated is full of precious mineral deposits- Gold, diamond, manganese, bauxite and even clay.

It is for this reason that the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 900) and the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) as well as the Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450) have been put in place to regulate this sector.

Consequently, requirements have been established for any individual or organisation desirous of mining any of the aforementioned minerals to meet.

In this regard, there are large scale miners such as Anglogold Ashanti, Newmont Ghana and Gold Fields Ghana among others. Numerous licensed small scale miners also exist across the country. The third category is the small scale miners who without recourse to the existing regulatory framework, resort to mining anywhere they deem fit. This is the group that has been referred to as engaging in ‘galamsey’.

This is a word that has become common in media reportage and national discussions for a while now. Knowing that it is not an English word, I sought to know its origin. I found on https://en.wiktionary.org/ that it is derived from the phrase “gather them and sell” and it is a reference to Illegal, small-scale gold mining in Ghana.

It has been the go to activity for many a youth who does not have a job. Businessmen including politicians who have the wherewithal have also invested in equipment that aid in carrying out this illegality. Worse still, Ghanaians who do not have the means, have teamed up with Chinese nationals to engage in ‘galamsey’. A notable Chinese name in this regard is En Huang, a.k.a Aisha Huang who goes by the nickname ‘Galamsey Kingpin’. Thankfully, she is currently being prosecuted with three accomplices.

The ‘galamseyers’ have degraded very huge hectares of land and destroyed many rivers across the country. Forest reserves have even not been spared. Indeed, the consequences of ‘galamsey’ have proven to be very disastrous. What scares me most is the threat it poses to availability of potable water in the near future as warned by the authorities of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL). Water is life, you know!

And my colleague Erastus Asare Donkor of Luv FM brought this reality home to me when he put samples of water from several rivers which have been polluted due to ‘galamsey’ activities, into transparent containers. As a pupil of the Alpha Beta School in Dansoman described the new look of the water bodies on JoyNews’ The Probe, they looked like ‘This way’ chocolate drink.

The role of stakeholders in fighting ‘galamsey’

Commendably, successive governments have demonstrated their resolve to end illegal mining and the danger it poses. Military-led interventions such as Operation Vanguard, Galamstop and Operation Halt have been experimented for this purpose. President Akufo-Addo is on record to have said that he will put his presidency on the line to ensure the success of this fight. According to him, he lost a few votes in ‘galamsey’ communities during the last election so that should indicate to us how serious his commitment is.

The Ghana Chamber of Mines, Non-Governmental Organisations and policy think tanks have done their bit towards ending this canker. However, the results of these efforts leave so much to be desired.

Why this is so, is the source of worry for all concerned Ghanaians. While government officials blame chiefs, they in turn have accused politicians for the status quo as regards illegal mining. This blame game seems to have infuriated the usually diplomatic Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Read what he told members of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs on Friday as reported by myjoyonline.com:

“You send military men to galamsey sites; they end up arresting labourers covered with mud. This is someone hired by a big fish to work at his site. Who is the final receiver of the gold? How come the one who bought excavators is left off the hook? The military as usual photograph a poor labourer whose body is always covered in dirt; a man who receives a paltry 200, 300 cedis from a financier.

Then they say they have arrested galamsey operators. What then happens to the financier? How come he is not arrested? Are they saying they don’t know those behind ‘galamsey’ in Ghana?  The gold ends up being sold abroad. So who is behind the sale of gold abroad? Is it not the financier? How come he is not arrested? Once the financier is arrested, we will put an end to ‘galamsey’ so our water bodies can be saved. They should give us a break!”

The role of the stomach in the failure of the fight against ‘galamsey’

From my observation, the main reason why efforts to end the menace has failed, can be summed up into two words- Food and greed. If www.dictionary.com defines greed as ‘intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food”, then we are left with only one word- FOOD.

Stated differently, if you agree that the underlying cause of greed is the need to satisfy chiefly, the requirement of the stomach, then you should also concur that the main cause of ‘galamsey’ is food.

As alluded to above, hunger is one of the natural occurrences in the human body that we have no control over. It is that feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food which is followed by the quest to eat.

As long as one is human, when this feeling strikes, the only way of addressing it is to find food to fill the stomach. While some people grow their own food, through subsistence farming or gardening, most of us use money we work for in exchange for food.

That is to say that, to find food, one must work. Unfortunately, there are many Ghanaians who, although are able and willing to work, do not have jobs to do. Again, successive governments and private organisations have done what they could to create employment opportunities. However, the number of opportunities available do not match that which is required.

As a result, some youth, for the sake of food, have offered their services to the greedy financiers. Some workers who were arrested at some of the ‘galamsey’ sites confirmed my theory. They said in Twi, “Wei aa na y3y3 didie” – this is the only thing we feed from. There are other ‘galamsey’ workers who boast that they earn more than the minimum wage.

The self-styled chief of Dompim-Pepesa, where ‘galamsey’ is rife, Nana Nyowah Panyin IV, a.k.a Nathaniel Dekyi, also justified my supposition when he spoke from a hideout to Kojo Yankson on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM. “If I should tell you what had transpired yesterday, it was an eyesore. Last three days, I had an interview with Captain Smart. After the interview, a group of men …said I want to take from their mouths, the very food that they are eating,” he said in a voice laced with fear.

Then it was the turn of the Leader and Founder of Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Akpaloo to attest to my hypothesis: “It saddens my heart to see residents struggling to get 10 cedis for food despite the gloomy pictures in the environment,” he bemoaned after visiting an illegal mining site.

Plus, there was this old farmer who was shown on TV3 saying that he feels proud to have sold his cocoa farm for ‘galamsey’. According to him, he has been farming for 25 years without anything to show for it. In contrast, after selling his farm for illegal mining, he has in no time been able to build a two-bedroom house and is able to feed his family.

Now, please tell me that it is not because of food that Captain (Rtd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, a former Deputy Minister for the Interior, failed presidential aspirant on the ticket of the NPP,  who is now limping on one leg, would take up an opportunity to defend Aisha Huang.

Somebody should tell him, that he can justify his decision all he can. The simple truth is that his main consideration is the money that he will make to satisfy the cravings of his stomach and the medical bills that await him.

Again, someone should convince me that it is not because of the other word related to food that the immediate past Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Freddie Wosimewu Blay, has decided to defend the alleged accomplices of En Huang. Otherwise, why would the supposed owner of Daily Guide Network- Newspaper, online portal and TV station as well as Blay and Associates, offer to be the counsel for persons alleged to be involved in destroying our land and water bodies? They are innocent until proven guilty, we know that.

All objective minded persons, are asking him to desist. But no. Even his fellow party member and Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Abu Jinapor does not support his decision, still. His defence is that the accused deserve representation and he, as a professional lawyer, has sworn an oath to defend accused persons, hence he has committed no crime. Mr. Blay, all we are saying is that the optics ain’t good. It does not augur well for the expressed commitment of the government that you are part of ‘oo ton’.

It’s time to go

Having established the need to satisfy the stomach as the root cause of the ‘galamsey’ menace, it behooves the powers that be to direct some attention to providing alternative livelihoods for the young men who are compelled to offer their services for this illicit activity due to the quest to quench their hunger. Providing jobs could help reduce this menace significantly, I think. Similarly, the laws must be enforced to prevent the ‘greedy bastards’ from having their way. We owe this to our future generation.

While I am on employment creation, I read a statement by the rector of GIMPA, Professor Samuel Kwaku Bonsu with utter shock. That government does not owe anybody a job?  “The government doesn’t owe anybody a job. In fact, really nobody owes anybody a job. It is up to us as individuals looking for jobs to find them or create them,” he told Blessed Sogah, host of The Pulse on JoyNews, Friday, October 7, 2022.

How? Please ask the Prof to read the Directive Principles of State Policy in the 1992 Constitution- 36 (1) “The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”

Let our professors, refrain from saying what they don’t know. He cannot be the head of a Public Administration school and say this.

Do pobachennia – That’s goodbye in Ukrainian language.

Let God lead: Follow Him directly, not through any human.

The writer works at Myjoyonline.com. He is also the author of two books whose contents share knowledge on how anyone desirous of writing like him can do so. Eric can be reached via email eric.mensah-ayettey@myjoyonline.comThe two books cost GHC80.00.

×

Powered by WhatsApp Chat

× How can I help you?