Traditional rulers in the Ashanti region of Ghana have identified persons responsible for illegal mining both in water bodies and forest reserves across the country.
During an engagement between the traditional rulers and the deputy Ministers for Lands and Natural resources, the traditional leaders noted that politicians are the folks behind the illegal mining.
This was after one of the sector Ministers, Mireku Duker insinuated that the Chiefs and queen mothers have the authority to resist persons who mine in water bodies and forest reserves.
“Everyone of us here knows the people behind illegal mining. No one can deny that. Each land in the country has an owner. We know our boundaries on water bodies and lands. If we decide to resist illegal mining in water bodies today, no one in Ghana will mine in the waters”, he said.
Reacting to this a queen mother noted that the miners come to the communities with an entry permit granted by the government.
“Politicians are responsible for galamsey in Ghana. Today our cocoa farms have been destroyed because of you (politicians). Our orange plantation and forest reserves have been destroyed because the illegal miners have documents when they come in. They come in with the military and policemen…We have all our toilet facilities destroyed because you’ve told us the surface is ours but everything beneath is yours.”
The Bekwai Mentiahene, Nana Kusi Frimpong Kotobre corroborated the queen mother’s statement by revealing that some military officers have been deployed into the Kobro Forest in the Amansie Central to protect illegal miners in the forest.
“There is a forest reserve at Amansie Central called Kobro Forest. There are military men guarding the miners in that forest. Politicians are behind them because I can’t go in for the military men to guard something I am doing. If I could, I would have called them to accompany me to the farm”, he said, revealing the traditional ruler’s vulnerability in such instances.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini