Chiefs asked to declare stand on illegal mining

galamseyAlhaji Jacktar Mohammed Hardi, Coordinating Director for Ahanta West District of the Western Region, has called on traditional authorities to declare their stand on illegal-mining, popularly called galamsey, which has become a topical national issue.

He said galamsey could not take place in communities without the knowledge of chiefs, who are custodians of land in Ghana.

Alhaji Hardi made the remarks at a workshop on “the role of stakeholders in protecting mineral resources”,  organized by the Takoradi Office of Inspectorate Division of the Mineral Commission,  at Agona Nkwanta.

It was attended by traditional authorities, assembly members, heads of department and other opinion leaders from the district.

Alhaji Hardi said declaration of chiefs on illegal mining would encourage people mandated to flush out illegal mining, which is destroying the environment, and impacting negatively on socio-economic development of the people, to do their work.

Nana Kwasi Agyeman, Omanhene of Lower Dixcove in the district, said that chiefs as traditional heads of communities were obliged to help in the elimination of illegal mining.

Nana Agyemen, who is also Vice President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, warned that the House would not come to the aid of any chief, who would be linked to illegal mining.

Mr Obiri Yeboah Twumasi, a Senior Principal Inspector of Mines, said plans were underway to cover open pits and trenches abandoned by illegal miners.

He reminded miners that they were enjoined by Act 703 of 2006 to cover pits or reclaim land after their operations.

Mr Shine Fiagome, Senior Environmental Officer at the Environmental Protection Agency, said environmental impact of mining could be minimized through careful planning, monitoring and enforcement of clear and well-defined regulations.

Source: GNA

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