EDITORIAL: Chiefs Must Stop Galamsey
7/9/2012 6:31:06 PM -
For some time now the activities of illegal miners, popularly called galamsey operators, have dominated the columns of our newspaper because of the devastation those activities are wreaking on our environment.
Another reason is that the spate of illegal mining activities across the country is of much concern to us.
We have also carried stories about not only the involvement of foreigners in this business but their arrest as well.
To us, the alleged complicity of some chiefs, who are said to be giving out parcels of land to these illegal miners for pittance, is also worrying. This is because it will be in the interest of those chiefs, who have sworn oaths to be custodians of our lands, to stay away from illegal mining.
But if, as custodians of the land, our chiefs can betray the trust the people have reposed in them, then they must be ready to face the wrath of the people.
That is why the concerns raised by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, over the complicity of some of the chiefs in the Ashanti Region in illegal mining (galamsey) and his resolve to support the government in dealing with the problem should not be wished away.
We are aware that the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has, on countless occasions, raised similar concerns over the alleged complicity of chiefs in the illegal mining business.
The Daily Graphic thinks that every well-meaning Ghanaian must not look on unconcerned and allow those bent on destroying our heritage have their way. That places a responsibility on the people to volunteer information to the police to apprehend the culprits.
When we do that, we will contribute to uprooting a canker that has caused and is still causing devastation to our water bodies, farmlands, homes and forests.
We all have a duty to protect our environment for the benefit of generations yet unborn.
The Daily Graphic believes that we cannot hide behind unemployment and crave for quick money to move into this venture that unleashes untold hardships on the nation.
Already, some water bodies, particularly the Birim River in the Eastern Region, are virtually dead because of the negative consequences of the activities of these illegal miners.
The Daily Graphic is, therefore, rallying Ghanaians to support the call by the Asantehene to expose all chiefs who are clandestinely supporting galamsey operations in their traditional areas.
The sustainable development of our country will come under threat if we allow people, in the name of survival, to wreak havoc on our environment. We cannot attain sustainable development if the present generation exploits the resources of the country with no regard for the needs of future generations.
We should stand up and fight all those whose activities threaten our livelihood.