Amansie West MP calls for strict enforcement of mining laws
7/21/2012 9:01:09 PM -
Kumasi, July 21, GNA - The Member of Parliament (MP) for Amansie West, Madam Grace Addo, has called for strict enforcement of the country's environmental and mining laws to help reduce the fast degradation of the environment and also protect the lives and property of people in mining communities.
She has also appealed to the security agencies to work towards the protection of rural dwellers whose lives and properties were being threatened by illegal miners who often carried sophisticated weapons in their operations.
Madam Addo said the activities of small scale mining, whether legal or illegal is becoming a nuisance in the country and it was time regulators in the sector sat up and perform their duties diligently to promote environmental sustainability and peaceful atmosphere in mining communities.
She made the appeal at a press conference in Kumasi on Saturday, in reaction to a gunfire confrontation between the youth of Manso-Nsiena in the Amansie West District, and some Chinese illegal miners in the community on Thursday.
The timely intervention of the police from Manso-Nkwanta averted blood bath.
Nine illegal Chinese miners are in police custody while investigations are ongoing into the matter.
The local people have accused the Chinese miners of polluting their water bodies, destroying their farm lands and threatening them with death at the least provocation.
The action of the youth was to draw the attention of the government to their plight and forcefully eject these illegal miners from the area.
Madam Addo said activities of illegal miners in the district have not only led to the fast degradation of the forest, destruction of water bodies and crop farms, but deaths of many people who fell into uncovered pits.
She accused the District Security Committee (DISEC) for being adamant to the activities of illegal mining operations in the area and called on the District Chief Executive and the Police Commander to sit up and work to redeem their image.
Madam Addo also called on the chiefs and the youth to exercise maximum restraint in the fight to protect their rights, adding that violent confrontation would only go to aggravate their already impoverished situation.