Mr Frank Okpenyen, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Nzema East Municipality in the Western Region has called on traditional authorities to continue to support the government in the fight against illegal mining.
As custodians of the Land, the MCE requested that the chiefs stood in strong opposition to any activities that would render their land infertile and harmful for any human activities in the future since illegal miners used hazardous chemicals that could erode the gains.
“Let us look at the release of lands to foreigners and also form neighbourhood watchdog committees to monitor and report such illegal operations to save the country’s water bodies.
The Municipal Chief Executive at the maiden Town Hall Meeting said illegal mining was the major security threat, aside burglary and minor crimes adding, “the pollution of the water bodies and degradation of the environment through illegal mining is life threatening”.
The Nzema East was elevated to a Municipal status in 2008 and has a population of 60, 828 representing 2.6 per cent in 2010 census but currently, the municipality has grown up to 76, 883 in 2017.
The MCE said the Assembly’s aim was to reach 100, 000 inhabitants to gain a Metropolitan status.
The Town hall meetings initiated by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Local Government was to afford communities the opportunity to engage duty bearers on issues of concern and contribute their views on government policies and programmes from the national, regional and district levels for an informed decision making.
The meeting also enabled the assemblies to solicit feedback from the citizenry whilst members of the communities interrogated them on management of resources both human and financial for development.
The MCE said petty thievery and burglary in shops, offices and homes was becoming alarming adding, “Let all be
each other’s keeper.”
Mr Okpenyen said fighting crime was a collective responsibility, “As an assembly, we are putting the necessary security measures to equip the security agencies to continue their patrols and periodic swoops to crack down individuals who would disturb the peace and harmony within the municipality”.
He therefore urged the natives to live up to their civic responsibility by paying taxes and levies to ensure that development projects were executed to propel the municipality.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Catherine Ablema Afeku, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Area assured them of infrastructural development under the NPP administration to uplift the image of the constituency.