Chiefs Of Galamsey-stricken Communities To Be Summoned From January 2023
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has declared that chiefs in the Ashanti Region will be summoned to account for the activities of illegal mining in their communities from next year.
He said this during the last meeting of the members of the Regional House of Chiefs in the year 2022 over which he chaired.
According to the regional minister, Simon Osei Mensah, out of the 43 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), 25 are engaged in illegal mining.
“Chiefs claim they have no control over galamsey. How is it possible that you are in charge of lands yet you claim you have no say in illegal mining activities on the land? Hasn’t Mamponghene set an example? Wouldn’t you have evoked the Great Oath if the person had claimed possession of the land?”, the Asantehene wondered.
The monarch also showed concerns about the destruction of natural resources at a time critical to climate change and noted that such chiefs are culprits.
“You are a culprit if galamsey is active on your land…We must stop blaming the government. Nananom are also at fault. In this era of climate change, we are rather destroying our lands and water resources. You inherited the natural resources yet you have sat aloof for the waters to be destroyed. Just because he/she came to your house with some money and drink you have allowed them to destroy the land.”
He advised the chiefs to report such activities to him for the needful to be done.
“We are not telling you to pull a gun but report to us illegal mining activities taking place on your lands: we will in turn inform the regional minister and he will stop them. You must consider how mining can be done to protect water bodies and how our lands can be reclaimed after mining before approving.”
He added, “from next year, any chief who has active galamsey activities on his land will be summoned here to answer to that.”
Asante Mampong Resistance To Mining
In a letter dated November 24 and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Mampong Municipal Assembly and copied to the Mamponghene Daasebre Nana Osei Bonsu II, the Minerals Commission said it “shall no longer receive and/or consider any application for any mineral right in respect of the Mampong Traditional Area”.
This was after the Mampong Traditional Council opposed attempts by the Commission to grant mining rights to a company by the name Active Target Mineral Resources Limited over a gold concession in the area.
The opposition by the traditional rulers was done in a letter to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor.
“We Nananom of the Mampong Traditional Council stand by our joint inalienable Resolution not to allow any Destructive Surface Minerals Explorations within the Mampong Traditional Area as read to you and His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the closed door meeting of the National House of Chiefs’ held in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022”, a portion of the letter quoted by JoyNews said.
The position taken by the Council was to stop the replication of the menace of illegal mining in other parts of the country.
In response to the letter, the Commission said it has taken note of the objection to mining activities of any form in the area by the Council.
It further assured it shall no longer receive or consider any application for mining rights in the area.
The menace of illegal mining is threatening not just the country’s forest reserves and water bodies but also the country’s cash crops- cocoa and coffee.
Reports indicate that some farmers have sold off their cocoa farms to “galamseyers” in rural areas.
Samples of water from some of the river bodies in Ghana fetched by JoyNews showed massive pollution of the country’s waters.
River Tano, Nwui, Offin, Bonsa, Bia, Ankobra, Amoya, Afu Afu and Totoa streams have changed colours according to the samples fetched by JoyNews.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini