Religious in Ghana Launch Crusade against Illegal Gold Mining in Fight for Environment

Members of the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious – Ghana (CMSR-Gh). Credit: Fr. Dr. Paul Saa-Dade Ennin

The Conference of Major Superiors of Religious -Ghana (CMSR-Gh) is rallying for support to end the illegal gold mining also locally referred to as Galamsey which the Religious say is contributing to environmental degradation in the West African country.

In their message shared with ACI Africa, the Religious in Ghana also pledged to dedicate the year 2024 to environmental protection initiatives.

They said that the year 2024 serves as a year of preparation towards the Jubilee Year 2025, which they described as “the special year of restoration.”

The restoration, they noted, “is integral and includes the whole of creation.”

“We, consecrated men and women of the Catholic Church in Ghana have taken the Year 2024 as a year of action to restore our damaged environment, polluted water bodies and destroyed forests,” they said in their New Year message shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday, January 2.


They added, “We cannot all sit idle and fold our arms as we watch helplessly as unscrupulous persons destroy God’s creative gift to us which is our shared home. We are guardians of the earth, and we have a duty to keep it safe and to use its resources responsibly and fairly. We can no longer sit and weep as our common future is literally taken away from us.”

“We therefore invite all Consecrated men and women, Christ's faithful, every citizen of Ghana and all persons of goodwill to join our crusade against Galamsey and all harmful activities against the environment!” they said.

In Ghana, Galamsey is reducing the size of forests, and has reportedly affected 34 of the country’s 288 forests. Additionally, the illegal gold mining has polluted rivers and created deep holes that are then difficult to rehabilitate.

Efforts to curb the illegal mining have reportedly been thwarted by a weak court system, corruption, as well as complicity of locals.

In their statement, the Religious in Ghana were less optimistic that those benefiting from the rampant illegal mining for quick wealth will stop the mining soon.

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“We cannot sit unconcerned and expect those who are benefiting from this evil venture to come to their senses and put a stop to their nefarious activities,” they said, adding that the duty of the Church is to play a part in bringing restoration to the land.

Meanwhile, the Religious have expressed optimism that preparations towards the special Jubilee Year of 2025 with the theme, “Pilgrims of Hope” will be a time of grace, mercy, and renewal, in which the faithful and all people of goodwill are invited to deepen their relationship with God and with one another.

“It is a moment of restoration and reconciliation; of starting anew with God. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of the modern world, and to witness to the Gospel values of peace, justice, and solidarity,” the CMSR-Gh members said.

They added, “We are invited to be pilgrims, not tourists, in our journey of faith; to be bearers of hope, not despair, in the face of the difficulties and crises of our time. We are called to show God’s love and mercy, not just in words, but also in actions.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.