The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the devastation of the nation’s forests and water bodies through mining.
He said the two bodies needed to step up their supervisory and monitoring roles to make sure that the right things were done and check the recklessness. He faulted the two institutions for not doing enough to properly supervise and monitor small-scale miners, particularly, those operating in the hinterlands.
“I am saddened by the extent to which our environment is being degraded on daily basis due to the activities of miners”, Otumfuo Osei Tutu said. He said this when the management of the Minerals Commission led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Tony Aubynn, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace, Kumasi.
The visit was to officially introduce the newly-appointed CEO to him and to seek his support. The King said he found it disturbing that in spite of the many laws and policies put in place to promote safe mining to protect the environment the nation was far from achieving this.
He was also uncharitable in his criticism of chiefs who were aiding illegal mining in their communities, and said that was completely shameful and awful.
The Asantehene said as custodians, they had a responsibility to lead the campaign to safeguard the environment and maintain biodiversity. Dr Aubynn pledged the determination of the Commission to do everything it could to tackle the illegal mining menace.