I am afraid I have to warn again that we take our eyes off the ball of galamsey at the risk of committing genocide -REPEAT GENOCIDE- against the generations that will follow us to dwell on this land, 50 years hence (if we are lucky) or less (if we are unfortunate).
But GENOCIDE? An exaggeration, surely?
I sincerely wish it were. This is how genocide is defined by the dictionary:
“Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people … in whole or in part.”
Now, – I have a 5-year-old grandson whose ability to argue occasionally leaves me completely stumped.
“Grandpa, now that I am five years old, can I be allowed to… .” and he would supply a word or term which describes something he had been told little kids of his age group were not allowed to do.
“No, not yet”, one would glibly reply.
“But” (he would retort) “I was told that I couldn’t do that when I was only four years old. Now I have grown to be fiveyears old! And I am still not allowed?” (Resentful pout in evidence at this stage!)
How does one answer such logic? To him, the difference between four and five years of age is enormous. He’d waited a whole three hundred and sixty-five days for that age difference to materialise. Yet, now that – what to him – was “maturity” had arrived, the advantages he had hoped to join other “mature” people in enjoying, were still being denied to him!
What would happen if a logic master like him were appointed a judge, 40 years from now, and the State of Ghana was brought before him on a charge of negligence, leading to genocide?
(Extracts from the Court Proceedings:)
(PROSECUTOR: Your Lordship, in the year 1989, “small-scale” (also known as “artisanal” miners) upon the acquisition of a licence from the Minerals Commission, were allowed to dig for gold on lands allocated to them. But in less than ten years, this “small-scale mining” had degenerated into large-scale enterprises whereby the simple tools used for small-scale mining – such as pick-axes and shovels and pans – were discarded and replaced with powerful earth-moving equipment. These machines have been causing not only total devastation on the land but also, churning up sand, pebbles and soil, from or riverbeds!
Costly excavators, heavy earth-moving equipment, stone-crushers and a machine called changfan [imported from China] are used indiscriminately to turn our riverbeds upside down to bring up enormous quantities of soil, to be washed in search of gold.