YOU are sitting in front of a television set. With a glass of beer by your side.
The TV is showing a football match being played some thousands of miles away.
People wearing Ghanaian clothing are shouting. You are gripped by total empathy with them. Their actions, which your body involuntarily imitates, are triggered by one thought. A thought that spells “GHANA”.
You fiercely want GHANA to win. For you have grown up to hear about the exploits on the football field of Osei Kofi, Baba Yara, Edward Acquah, Ofei Dodoo, Dodoo Ankrah, Wilberforce Mfum, Mohammed Salisu, C K Gyamfi, Aggrey-Fynn and other great national players.
The guys in Qatar in the Year of Our Lord 2022, representing Ghana, are but the latest edition of the indomitable BLACK STAR TEAM!
You watched the great GHANA versus Uruguay match of 2010. And you want Ghana to avenge the ignominious defeat Ghana suffered in that match.
But what is really important – and will remain permanent in the memory of everyone in GHANA privileged to watch the match — is the feeling of being UNITED with every other GHANAIAN, in fervently wishing that the BLACK STARS will WIN this “December 2022 match.
We all want them to do well, so that GHANA will be glorified.
We want them to beat Uruguay, so that the memory of the filthy trick played on GHANA by that country's Luis Suarez in a similar World Cup encounter in 2010, will be avenged. And wiped from our collective memory at last.
To me, what the match signifies is this: WE ALL CONTINUE TO LOVE GHANA NOW, AS EVER.
The question I want to pose to you, then, is this:
“WHY – IF WE DO LOVE GHANA SO MUCH THAT WE CAN UNITE, OUT OF OUR OWN FREE WILL, TO WISH HER TO BEAT URUGUAY – CAN WE NOT UNITE, WHEN IT COMES TO SAVING GHANA'S WATER-BODIES, TO ENSURE THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF OUR NATION IN THE COMING YEARS?”
If we allow the galamsey operators to continue their operations, all our water-bodies will vanish in a few years from now.
You only need to take look at our rivers – Ankobrah, Oti, Offin, Densu, Birem, Tanoh, Pra and others (including the small streams that many of us drank from as children, such as Twafuor and Supong in my own town of Asiakwa) – what will our children's children drink, to grow up to become adults?
Poisonous chemicals like mercury and cyanide are being used to pollute our rivers – in search of gold.
Excavators and bulldozers are being used to turn our rivers upside down and inside out – in search of gold. Chanfangs are parked in our rivers – as if the rivers were car parks.
And we sit down and watch. Our chiefs and other traditional leaders say they have no power to fight to preserve our natural inheritance – the water we drink.
But where in the world do you need “power” to prevent your drinking water from being poisoned?
What “power” do you need to keep the paths to your farms open?
How can excavators and bulldozers prevent a united populace from blocking the way of galamsey gangs on their way to an adjacent site?
Are we going to sit idly by while our water is destroyed, because politicians tell us they have given their collaborators “licenses” to “prospect” for gold, which we know very well, will be used for actual mining?
Can politicians implement “community mining” over the heads of “communities”?
The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has taken action against galamsey in his state, which demonstrates that he understand the drums and horns when they tell him that:
“YԐMMFRԐ WO ↃHENE KWA!” [We don't call you a Chief for nothing.)
And in Asante, we read that the Mamponghene and the Mampong Traditional Area have told the Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources that they do not want any mining activities (galamsey) to happen on their land.
At a press conference, at the Mamponghene palace, the Kyeremfasohene, Nana Akuoko Kodua, recalled that in 2021, the Minerals Commission made arrangements with a specific private agency for a gold concession in the area.
But the Mamponhene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, wrote to the Government and the Minerals Commission, expressing their strong opposition to mining activities on their territory… So, when they got a second letter on the same subject in November 2022, they were surprised.
They then wrote to the Minister of Lands and Natural resources stating: “We, Nananom of the Mampong Traditional Council, stand by our joint inalienable Resolution not to allow any Destructive Surface Minerals Explorations within the Mampong Traditional Area (as read to you and His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the closed-door meeting of the National House of Chiefs, held in Kumasi on Wednesday October 5, 2022.”
Nana Kodua the first added: “We watch television and listen to radio every day and have witnessed how galamsey has doomed and caused suffering to some towns and villages in the country. We don't want same to happen on our land.”
Only such courageous and enlightened leadership by ALL our traditional authorities can save Ghana from total destruction by galamsey.
By CAMERON DUODU