The residents of Pakyi No 1, a town along the Kumasi-Obuasi road in the Amansie West Constituency of the Ashanti Region have expressed concern about the rate at which illegal mining activities have been destroying properties in the area, despite government's efforts to fight the menace.
Consequently, forest reserves, cocoa farms and water bodies are being destroyed.
At Pakyi Kobri Forest Reserve where this correspondent visited, it became evident that illegal miners were vigorously engaging in illegal mining operations using excavators and other heavy equipment.
It was also learnt that almost half of the Kobri Forest Reserve and three acres of cocoa farms have been destroyed by the illegal miners.
Nana Kofi Amoakohene, the Pakyi Nkosuohene, expressed his deep concern about the issue of illegal mining in the Amansie West Constituency.
He backs Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for dismissing four chiefs in the last four months for engaging in illegal mining.
"I strongly back the King for taking rigid measures to get rid of the offenders, especially chiefs who violate the laws and encourage galamsey in their communities," he stated.
Nana Kofi Amoakohene placed the blame squarely on the Chief of Pakyi (Pakyihene), Nana Owusu Opoku I, for allowing illegal miners to ravage farmlands and water bodies.
He alleged that the Pakyihene himself is involved in this illegal activity, driven solely by his selfish interests.
“Two weeks after Asantehene banned the galamsey activities in the Ashanti Region, Pakyihene sent his Gyaasehene and Akyeamehene to the Kobri forest to make sacrifices for the commencement of illegal mining," he alleges.
Nana said the galamseyers in the Kobri forest have destroyed almost half of the reserve including some cocoa farms.
"But we’ve stopped them. I and my boys have sacrificed ourselves and are determined to fight against the menace," he told journalists.
Nana Kofi Amoakohene called for immediate action to be taken against the Chief of Pakyi and all those involved in the illegal mining activities.
He stressed that the destruction caused by galamseyers is not only affecting the environment but also disrupting the livelihoods of the local communities.
Nana Kofi Amoakohene urged the government to enforce stricter regulations and provide support for sustainable development in the area, ensuring that future generations can thrive in a clean and prosperous environment.