Ghanaians decry ‘galamsey,’ favour government providing alternative livelihood support

A majority of Ghanaians support the government’s efforts to clamp down on illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as “galamsey,” a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

The survey also shows that Ghanaians overwhelmingly favour the government’s proposed initiatives to develop alternative livelihoods for those affected by the clampdown.

Rejection of “galamsey” and approval of the government’s handling of the fight against it are particularly strong among better-educated Ghanaians and among residents of the Central, Brong Ahafo, and Ashanti regions. Opposition to small-scale mining is weakest in the Upper East, Northern, and Upper West regions.

Public opinion fortifies the government’s assertive new fight against “galamsey” and its devastating effects on the country’s water bodies, farmlands, and livelihoods. The campaign is already credited with sparking the recovery of some hitherto heavily polluted water bodies.