Okyenhene calls for halt in illegal mining activities
Accra, July 27, GNA - Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyenhene, on Monday called for a halt in illegal mining activities in Akyem Abuakwa, particularly within the environs of Kyebi, Asikam, Akanten, Kobriso and Pano.
A statement signed by Nana Yentumi Boaman, Abodeesahene, said the activities of the illegal miners had led to the destruction of forest reserves and pollution of the Birim River, the source of water for the area.
According to the statement, at the last State Council meeting of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council held at Ofori Panin Fie at Kyebi, the Okyenhene charged the chiefs in the affected areas to be extra vigilant against all individuals and parties engaged in environmentally degrading activities, especially illegal mining.
The Okyenhene cautioned chiefs not to allocate land to potential miners since the Minerals Commission was the only institution mandated to issue mining concessions or licence.
“Any persons or parties, be they chiefs, citizens of the land or migrants from other parts of the country or abroad, found to be involved in illegal mining or any other environmentally degrading activities within Akyem Abuakwa will be made to face the full rigours of the law.”
It said a formal letter had been sent to stockholders in environmental and natural conservations inviting them to help fight the scourge.
“In a letter from the office of the Okyenhene, addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forestry Commission (FC), the Minerals Commission (MC), the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), the Ghana Police Service (GPS), the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Natural Resource (MLFNR), and the Eastern Regional Minister, Osagyefuo has called for each of these institutions to join him in fighting this scourge before it gets out of control,” the statement said, adding that copies of the letter were also sent to the Ghana Wildlife Society, Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.
The Okyenhene said “if necessary measures are not taken by the institutions responsible or mandated to do so, the Traditional Council will be compelled to take the situation into their own hands to curb the menace”.
He added that any individual or group who secures permit to mine should contact the administrative secretary of the Okyenhene for endorsement.