Nkasiem (B/A), Oct. 30, GNA – Mr. Paul Essien, the Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, on Friday commended the Chiefs and Police personnel in Asutifi South of the Brong-Ahafo Region for making the District galamsey-free area.
He encouraged them to continue with such patriotic act and urged the chiefs and opinion leaders in other districts where the menace of illegal mining was still plaguing, to follow suit by supporting the government’s effort in halting the canker that threatens the survival of the nation.
Mr. Essien gave the commendation at a meeting with chiefs, queenmothers and other members of the Ahafo North Divisional Council at Nkasiem in the District as part of his three days working visit in the Region to sensitise the traditional rulers about the dangerous effects of galamsey activities.
He explained that government was not against small scale mining, but wanted it to be done in a legal and sustainable manner to protect the nation’s rivers and other water bodies from pollution as well as other natural resources like the lands and forests from wanton destruction and degradation.
Mr. Essien, the Member of Parliament for Jomoro in the Western Region observed that a number of recalcitrant youth ‘galamseyers’ still operated in the night in some districts and therefore appealed to the traditional leaders not to relent in their efforts, but they should deal with the phenomenon by stopping those disobedient, nation-wrecking youth from destroying the nation’s natural resources.
He expressed regret that some farmers in galamsey-plagued districts could not go to farm for fear of being trapped in pits created by the galamsey operators and assured that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources would restore the lands by filling all those pits to prevent loss of lives and further operations.
Oyeeman Appiah Kubi III, the Chief of Ayomso and President of the Divisional Council, appealed to government to lift the ban on small scale mining to enable those with licenses to operate since the ban had cost some of them their livelihoods.
Some of the youth in the area appealed to the government to create jobs in the District as they were now jobless but did not want to engage in the galamsey activity to cause further damage to the nation’s lands, forests and water bodies.