For most actions taken to stem the dangerous tide of galamsey by the deployed troops in the theatre of the war against the illegality, they can have passed the test of sensibility, safe the willful snuffing of life. When the fallen was the one who triggered the fire fight which claimed their lives in the first instance, decent society would not have a problem.
A lot of things would happen as we prosecute the acceptable war against galamsey under the circumstances, this being a novelty and coming against the backdrop of the brutal murder of Major Mahama Adam in Denkyra-Obuase and the multifaceted fall-out thereof.
In their first engagement yet since the onslaught began, blood has been drawn and ten or so excavators set ablaze beyond serviceability.
The foregone was the headline story yesterday in the media. The cost of an excavator is expensive – its use in the construction industry highly invaluable.
The military effort to derail the activities of galamsey activists is expensive one, costing so much to the public purse. In terms of opportunity cost to the public it stands to reason therefore that the setting ablaze of equipment related to the illegal industry should be spared the fire of destruction.
The most sensible alternative is to put these to use so that the country can benefit from them. Our varied road and public interest construction projects need such equipment. Since these are capital intensive, they can be hired out to individuals and bodies who may need them.
We think therefore that the phenomenon of burning such equipment as in the case of the excavators should cease forthwith.
There are no two ways that we have many projects demanding the employment of such equipment, which constitute one of the costly items in the construction industry.
The setting ablaze of the equipment caused subtle public outrage, especially when the action was juxtaposed against the financial cost of the action and the use they could have been put to.
We are not by this commentary suggesting opposition to the spirit of the action being taken against galamsey. That is not the idea as we have consistently supported the resolve of most Ghanaians – safe the galamsey players – to uproot the illegality and save our water sources and environment from willful destruction.
Our commentary is therefore presenting a better alternative to the setting alight of equipment which could be put to better use. That is our mission on this score. As for the field operations by the troops under the ‘Operation Vanguard,’ we are all for it and wish the commanders and their men Godspeed.