President Nana Akufo-Addo in a pose with traditional leaders after the meeting at the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday, October 5, 2022
The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his appeal to the Chiefs, Metropolitan, Municipal and Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) in the country to rise up and take up lead roles in the fight against illegal mining (galamsey).
According to the President, the Chiefs, who are custodians of lands have an obligation to protect the lands entrusted in their care and that joining forces with government to fight illegal mining is a duty they owed their communities and the country.
Addressing the traditional authorities at the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, President Akufo-Addo maintained that the battle against illegal mining can only be won if there is a closer and effective collaboration between the government, traditional authorities and relevant stakeholders.
He said since the inception of his government, there has been strong commitment towards eradicating the galamsey menace but the efforts are being thwarted by the lack of collaboration from some chiefs, persons and key institutions.
He expressed the openness and transparency of his government to mining but clarified that mining must be done with the scope of the country’s laws as well as responsible and sustainable means.
For President Akufo-Addo, the battle to protect the country’s waterbodies requires an all-hands on deck approach that must be devoid of politics and personal interest.
He bemoaned the political colorization of the fight against galamsey and admonished politicians to rise above such partisanship and selfish gains.
He contended that his government will remain resolute in its determination to ensure the sustainable use of the country’s rich mineral resources.
“We have tried many initiatives including the community mining scheme and the establishment of the new legal regime for dealing with the perpetrators of this phenomenon which has imposed severe sanctions on both Ghanaians and foreigners raging from 15-25years jail term of illegal mining activities,” he added.
“The progress of our country depends on all of us; all citizens of Ghana; all fellow Ghanaians coming together to defeat this existential threat to our future,” he apleaded.
“No one seeks to exploit the fight against galamsey for political gains as we saw in the last election. The progress of our country depends on all of us, all citizens of Ghana, all fellow Ghanaians, pulling together to defeat this existential threat to our future,” the President noted.
“I ask all of you to join hands with me in the fight against illegal mining in order to bring to an end the devastation of our lands and the pollution of our water bodies.”
The President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II expressed worry that galamsey activities are a threat to the survival of Ghanaians and that any action taken towards its curbing must be embraced by all.
He observed that illegal mining activities have affected cocoa industry as well as Ghana’s revenue generation and employment target and urged that persons found to be engaging in illegal mining activities be dealt with in accordance to the law.
He commended President Akufo-Addo for his personal devotion to the fight to protect resources meant for future generations and promised that the traditional authorities offer their utmost support to the government.
The President later met with MMDCE’s and Regional Ministers in llegal mining endemic areas whiles charging them to work together actively and closely with Central government to reverse the phenomenonal of Galamsey.
Government he said, has a lot to do with reputation adding that there’s a political cost to the galamsey fight but “ a cost we should be prepared to pay in the interest of Ghana”.
The President stressed that “you are my representative at the local level and it cannot be that government fighting the menace and you are found complicit “ adding that “I will am not in the position to protect anyone who is found in such act against who evidence has been established to be involved in the Galamsey”.
Let us work together to restore our water bodies, landscape, forest reserve to enable us break the 8”, he concluded.
Source: MLNR-PR Unit
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