Stephen Abelimah Akugre, the assemblyman for the Kumblingo/Bolingo Electoral Area in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region, has voiced concerns about the rising number of small-scale mining operations in the electoral area.
While the mining activities provide alternative sources of livelihood to many within the area, it is affecting enrolment, particularly at the basic level.
Mr. Akugre shared his thought about the issue on the Day Break Upper East Show today, September 26, 2022.
“Most of the people are now in galamsey work and it is very serious. This galamsey is a blessing in a way, and it is a curse in a way. It is a curse in a way because almost all the young ones are not willing now to even go to school. When they go there [the mining sites], they get something small. Our wives don’t even concentrate on household work because everyday, they will have to go and struggle for something.”
While admitting that mining, if not done well, particularly illegal mining may have some negative effects on the environment, Mr, Akugre explained that, “you may not have the power to stop it because people get their livelihoods from that. If you think about the negative impact on the community, what then do we do? We can’t farm and we can’t rear so what do we do? If you rear [animals], they [thives] would come for them and if you farm, they would come and graze it.”
The Assemblyman added that strategies are being put in place to increase and sustain enrolment numbers in the area.
Earlier, Mr. Akugre expressed worry that left unchecked, many parts of the Electoral Area would become unpassable after dark due to the rampant robberies in the area.