Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi, Eastern Regional Minister has made a passionate appeal to all politicians not to politicize the issue of illegal mining known as “galamsey” and chainsaw operations in the country.
He said if care was not taken, the two illegal activities, which were on the ascendency in all parts of the country, including the Eastern Region, could pose a serious threat to the development agenda of the country.
“Let us avoid politics and discuss the issue with all seriousness that it deserves in order to create a congenial atmosphere for the unborn generations “he emphasized.
Dr Apea-Kubi made the appeal when he paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of Akyem Bosome Traditional Area, Okotwasuo Kantanmanto Oworae Agyekum the third, at Akyem Swedru on Wednesday.
The Regional Minister attributed the recent floods, which hit five districts in the region and claimed five lives with more than 20, 000 people displayed, to illegal mining activities along the banks of the Birim River.
He said it was unfortunate that every national issue was being politicized along party lines, which according to him, should be avoided.
Dr Apea-Kubi appealed to the traditional authorities to join hands with all stakeholders and fight illegal mining and chainsaw operations in the region.
The Regional Minister also said the lack of stiff punishment to operators of illegal mining was another setback against its fight.
He assured that his outfit had contacted the Attorney General’s office and the Mineral Commission to review the laws and come out with stiff punishment that would deter people from undertaking the illegal activities.
Dr Apea-Kubi assured that the area would not be denied its share of the national cake and appealed to the chiefs to exercise patience for the government.
The Omanhene appealed to the Regional Minister to ensure that chainsaw activities, which was a major problem confronting the area, would be tackled with all the seriousness it deserves.