GAWU: Halting galamsey essential for saving Ghana’s cocoa industry

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The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) has stated that there are no quick fixes to the ongoing challenges plaguing Ghana’s cocoa sector. The union raised concerns about a potential decline in cocoa revenue by the end of 2024, following a $500 million drop in first-quarter cocoa revenue.

In an interview with Citi News, GAWU General Secretary Edward Kareweh emphasized the urgency of addressing illegal small-scale mining, known locally as galamsey, to prevent further damage to the cocoa sector.

“We just need to appreciate that there is no immediate solution in terms of reversing the negative impact of the galamsey on our economy and then on cocoa production from now until the end of the year. In fact, even if we stop galamsey today, it will take us a number of years to be able to reverse the harm that it has caused our environment,” Kareweh stated.

He highlighted the extensive efforts needed to restore the affected areas: “We need to do some reclaiming of the land. We need to rejuvenate the forest. We need to try and purify the rivers. And that will also take a long time. So we don’t have immediate solutions.”

Despite the long-term nature of these efforts, Kareweh stressed the importance of starting immediately. “But then if we don’t start now, we will never be able to have the solutions. So we must start now to deal with all these negative factors again,” he added.

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