Renowned retired Supreme Court Justice William Atuguba has expressed dismay at the government’s failure to curb illegal mining, known as ‘galamsey,’ which continues to ravage Ghana’s water bodies and natural environment.
Despite President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to ending the ‘galamsey’ menace, the environmental destruction caused by unregulated mining persists.
A government task force was established to combat illegal mining, but it has faced several challenges, including the disappearance of seized excavators and allegations of bribery and corruption.
Recent tests conducted on major rivers revealed dangerously high levels of heavy metals, including Lead, Arsenic, Chromium, and Cadmium, posing significant health risks for those exposed.
Justice Atuguba, a respected legal figure who has recently spoken out about the judiciary, expressed his concern during an interview with Joy News.
He recounted his personal experience witnessing the polluted state of a river in a gold mining region. He revealed that during his tenure on the Supreme Court, he had attempted to rally his colleagues to take action against illegal mining but received insufficient support.
Atuguba questioned the inability of the Ghanaian state, armed with the police and army, to eliminate the ‘galamsey’ menace and protect the environment.
He emphasized the importance of judges addressing societal challenges and evils, suggesting that they have the authority to make laws to combat such issues.
Justice William Atuguba, who served as a Supreme Court Judge for 23 years, expressed his disappointment that his efforts to address the illegal mining problem were not supported. Despite his concerns, he retired from the bench.
Atuguba’s comments shed light on the ongoing struggles to combat illegal mining in Ghana, a critical issue affecting the country’s environment and public health.
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