Asikam (E/R), May 17, GNA – Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, the Eastern Regional Minister, has declared that a 24-hour surveillance to check illegal mining in all mining areas of the region would soon begin.
The Minister said for as long as she heads the region, her outfit would not relent in its efforts to clamp down on the canker, which is fast degrading the vast natural resource.
“We will not sit down unconcerned for selfish individuals to destroy our water bodies, forests and resources to the detriment of the poor in the society.”
Ms Ntoso made the declaration when she and her Deputy, Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, led the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Zoomlion
Ghana Limited, to embark on a massive clean-up exercise at the Kyebi Government Hospital and the Asikam community in the East Akyem Municipality on Friday.
The Minister used the occasion to launch the Eastern Regional Pre-Flood Clean-up Campaign, on the theme, “Improving Communities’ Resilience to Floods.”
She later inaugurated a district ‘galamsey’ Task Force, made up of five persons; the Municipal Chief Executive, the Municipal Police Commander, Municipal Director for the EPA, Municipal Commander
of the Fire Service and the Municipal Coordinator for NADMO to monitor the activities of illegal small scale miners in the area.
Ms Ntoso charged them to work hard and stop the illegal mining activities in the municipality, adding that failure to do so could lead to the sanctioning of the Chairman of the Task Force, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Teye Martey.
The Chairman, on behalf of the committee members, pledged his unflinching commitment to avert illegal mining in the municipality.
Mr Ransford Owusu Boakye, the Regional NADMO Coordinator, urged members of the community and all stakeholders not to sit on the fence in fighting disasters, but to be part of the solution to the floods and other disasters.
“It is therefore imperative that we de-silt all choked gutters and drains and clear weeds in waterways of storm -drains frequently to prevent floods in our communities, while refraining from dumping refuse into gutters or building in waterways,” he stressed.
Nana Kodua Kesse, Member of the Council of State and Chairman of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Committee, emphasized that nonchalance on the part of the stakeholders and community leaders were the prime factors of fire and flooding disasters being experienced in the country.
He suggested that the practice be held at least once a month to clear all drainage systems in the various communities to prevent flooding.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Ernest Kusi, Regional Manager of Zoomlion, charged community members to do what it takes to prevent disasters and health hazards, saying that, “We must
collectively get our hands on the wheel to keep our surroundings clean to prevent cholera and water borne diseases.”