The Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Hon. Paul Essien, has reminded chiefs of their position as custodians of the land within their respective jurisdictions and the responsibility placed on them to fight illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey in the country.


Hon. Essien has, therefore, appealed to traditional leaders to collaborate with government in its fight against the menace which is gradually degrading the country's ecosystem.


He stressed the need for the chiefs to crosscheck with the Assembly and the security agencies on the genuineness of all documents and licenses presented to them by individuals or corporate bodies that wanted to engage in mining on their lands before giving any approval.


The Deputy Minister made the call when he paid a courtesy call to the chiefs and elders of the Dormaa Traditional Area at the Abampreduase palace as part of his working tour of the country.


The meeting was part of government's on-going collaborative efforts to sensitize the general public on the devastating effects of galamsey and lumbering and to solicit support to protect the natural resources of the state.


Hon. Essien announced that government had increased the allowances of paramount chiefs, adding that all efforts would be made to pay the allowances to all gazetted chiefs to motivate them to discharge their duties.


The Minister warned that anybody who would be caught dealing in illegal lumbering and mining activity would not be spared by the law, adding that posterity would not forgive the present generation if illegal mining was allowed to destroy the country’s natural resources for their selfish interests.


Present at the meeting was the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Drissa Ouattara, who commended Dormaamanehene Osagyefo Oseadeyo Nana Agyemang Badu II for his timely intervention that brought gallamsey activity to the barest minimum in the traditional area.


Hon. Ouattara also commended the other divisional chiefs for their co-operation and support in the fight against the menace in Kobedi, masu and Kofibadukrom, some of the areas affected by galamsey.


He appealed to the chiefs to support president Akufo-Addo for good governance.


The Adontenghene of the Dormaa Traditional Area, Barima Okogyeatuo Agyemang, called on Ghanaians to be more patriotic and law-abiding citizens and to appreciate, and preserve the environment and the natural resources of the country for future generations.


Barima Okogyeatuo Agyemang pledged on behalf of the chiefs to continue the battle against galamsey and other illegal activities that depleted the country’s natural resources.


He appealed to government to bring back the information vans to do proper public education at the grassroots level on issues of national interest and concern.


Source: ISD (Linda Osei –Fobi)