It’s a shame ‘galamsey’ issues no longer make headlines – Sam Jonah

The Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Sir Sam Jonah, has expressed concern over what he perceives as a decline in media coverage of illegal mining activities, commonly known as galamsey.

The senior statesman lamented the lack of attention from the media, despite the significant harm and destruction caused by illegal mining activities to the livelihoods of Ghanaians and society as a whole.

In a solemn address at the launch of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Accra on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, Sir Sam Jonah expressed his lack of confidence in the media reportage on such a serious issue of national interest.

“I wish I could be confident that the coverage will be professional but I am afraid I can’t, given the largely unserious way in which another important national issue—the most egregious abuse of the rights of millions whose livelihood has been decimated completely by galamsey operations, has been treated by your profession [Journalism].”

“I don’t know whether you are exhausted and indeed frustrated by the shameful lack of decisive action from the authorities to your interventions. All I know is that your association’s pen which is your weapon has gone eerily silent on this all important matter. I would have liked to see a more concerted and sustained action from you. Sadly, that has not been the case. Galamsey doesn’t make the headlines anymore and yet the country is experiencing the ravages of this terrible phenomenon every day.”

He also bemoaned the health implications and complications galamsey has caused and continues to prevail despite the results being glaring.

“The alarming increase in children born with deformities, the epidemic of kidney and liver diseases, and the alarming mortality rates in the areas affected by galamsey activities appear not to merit your sustained concern.

“What a shame, what a pity! As Journalists the times we live in beckon you to remember your purpose, power and your responsibility. The price of the continued silence is too grave to fathom.”

Source: Kabah Atawoge

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