THE Omanhene of Manso-Nkwanta Traditional Area in the Amansie West District, Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, has called on the government and the district assembly to institute measures to check illegal mining (galamsey) in the district.
He said the activities of the galamsey operators had led to loss of lives and destroyed the environment, stressing that that should not be allowed to continue.
“There is therefore an urgent need for the authorities to do something about the situation,” he said, promising that Nananom would give the necessary support to achieve results.
Nana Appiah made the call at a public forum organised by the traditional council at Manso-Nkwanta on how to address the problems arising out of galamsey operations in the area.
Heads of departments, security personnel, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minerals Commission and gold mining companies in the district, attended the forum.
The Omanhene stated that whereas some companies which had been issued with licences operated within the laws, others regrettably failed to reclaim the lands they worked on.
He therefore stressed the need for the companies to work according to the laws of the country.
An official of the Minerals Commission at Dunkwa-on-Offin, Mr Ernest Okyere, said it was illegal for anyone to mine gold without a licence from the commission.
He appealed to district assemblies and the law enforcement agencies to help arrest such persons.
The Member of Parliament for Amansie West, Mrs Grace Addo, said traditional rulers had a big role to play in checking illegal gold mining.
She therefore expressed the hope that the chiefs would join hands with the security agencies and the police to bring the situation under control.
Mrs Addo also spoke against schoolchildren using school hours for galamsey, and warned that henceforth any pupil found engaging in galamsey would be arrested and prosecuted.
The District Director of Education, Mr Samuel Kena, said the poor performance of schools in the Basic Education Certificate Examination in the district was partly due to the children’s involvement in galamsey activities.
He enjoined parents to take interest in the education of their children rather than leaving them to engage in unproductive activities.
The District Co-ordinating Director, Mr Daniel Nkrumah, stated that the district security committee had instituted measures to arrest persons engaged in galamsey activities.