The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. John Alexander Ackon, says tackling the destructive activities of illegal gold mining is his major priority and he is determined to do everything to rein in the miners wreaking havoc on the environment and threatening the very survival of the people.
Speaking at a press soiree held by the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in Kumasi, he stated that pollution of water bodies and destruction of forest reserves and farmlands from illegal mining would have to stop.
Mr. Ackon noted that access to good drinking water was already becoming a huge difficulty to many rural dwellers.
The evening soiree provided the opportunity for the Regional Minister to interact with journalists and chart a common course to speed up the development of the region.
He touched on the tension between the people of Agogo and nomadic Fulani herdsmen and said they were making progress in efforts at de-escalating the situation.
Mr. Ackon said what he found refreshing was that all the stakeholders were beginning to appreciate the need to dialogue to find a common ground.
He encouraged the youth in the area to come to the negotiating table to help find enduring solutions to the problem.
He used the occasion to remind the journalists to maintain high standards of professionalism to assist protect the peace as the nation readies to go to the polls in November.