A Ghanaian environmental conservation advocate based in the United Kingdom, Mr Collins Oppong-Kyekyeku, has appealed to government to initiate fresh policies and guidelines to bring lasting solutions to activities of illegal mining popularly known as ‘ galamsey’.
This, according to him, would help to safeguard the ever depleting forests and farmlands in the country adding, ” let us protect our natural resources for the sake of posterity.”
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times at Duayaw – Nkwanta in the Ahafo Region yesterday, Mr Kyekyeku, said the dangers posed by galamsey activities were enormous and had dire consequences if immediate action was not taken.
He observed that the use of security agencies by the government to combat the activities of illegal mining, as an approach, was not yielding any meaningful results for the past four years.
“Today people are still mining illegally in our forests and farmlands, species of trees, animals are on the verge of extinction, our rich lands depleted and all the water bodies too are completely contaminated,” he lamented.
Continuing, “We might not feel the impacts of the activities of illegal mining in our lives currently; we would witness the devastating consequences in the near future and generations to come.”
Mr Oppong -Kyekyeku bemoaned how the lack of patriotism in some Ghanaians had greatly contributed to what he termed, ‘ irresponsible and nation-wrecking’ behaviour to amass wealth at the expense of forests and farmlands.
According to him, it was shameful and unreligious that some citizens connived with expatriates to deplete the forests and farmlands ‘which are our heritage, source of livelihood, source of rich minerals resources for export and property to the future generation.’
He charged education-oriented public institutions namely, the National Commission for Civic Education, Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation, Information Service Department, New Times Cooperation, Graphic Communications Group Limited to educate citizens on the socio-cultural, political and economic impacts on the country.
He also urged communities to form volunteer – taskforce at the local level with support from traditional rulers to check and report the activities of galamsey.
Mr Oppong – Kyekyeku, said as an indigene of Ahafo, he was using the media platform to encourage traditional authorities, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Forestry Commission and residents to collaborate to protect forests resources in the region.