CDS calls for increased public cooperation and support for troops
The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, has called for the people to continue to give strong support and to cooperate with the joint military/police taskforce assigned the job of checking illegal mining.
He asked that everybody found space to contribute to the fight to safeguard the nation’s forests and water bodies.
He was speaking when he together with Inspector General of Police (IGP) David Asante Apeatu visited the Eastern Region Forward Operating Base of the troops.
The taskforce has seized 678 excavators, a number of illegal weapons and immobilized a total of 2,044 ‘Chang fa’ – floating platform used by the illegal miners to dig for gold in the riverbed.
Lt. Gen Akwa announced that more naval personnel, engineers and marine police would be joining the task force.
He gave high marks to the troops for the good job they had been doing to stop the degradation of the environment.
He said he was impressed with their achievements and encouraged them to remain professional in the performance of their assigned task.
The IGP said he was proud of the gains made by the officers and men of the taskforce.
He added that the ‘espirit de corps’ and teamwork between the soldiers and the police was most refreshing and something that he hoped their counterparts in other countries would learn.
Obrempong Akwesi Amo Kyeretwie, the Abiremhene and acting Gyasehene of the Kotoku Traditional Area, said the people were grateful to the taskforce for saving the rivers and forests in the area.
He said “our rivers and streams are now clean and we thank you for making this to happen”.
Unrestrained illegal mining had led to massive pollution of some major rivers – Birim, Pra, Bia, Tano, Ankobra and Offin, but the deployment of taskforce had helped to make things better.