President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advised chiefs and people of Ghana to resolve to work in unison with the government to protect the environment from degradation.
"God has blessed Ghana with good environment and abundant natural resources," he noted, saying the government and the citizenry have a collective responsibility to protect what nature had bequeathed the nation.
President Akufo-Addo said his government would not condone any practices likely to deplete those resources.
He was addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Manso-Nkwanta in the Amansie-West District, as part of his three-day working visit to the Ashanti Region.
The President used the occasion to sensitize residents of the area on the need for them to join the campaign to curtail illegal small-scale mining in all its forms.
Amansie-West had for years been associated with small-scale mining activities, and according to environmentalists, the area had some of the worst forms of environmental degradation.
Water bodies, forestry resources and the ecology in general, had been impacted negatively due to this development.
Added to this are the social consequences confronting the people, such as the involvement of the youth in such mining activities at the expense of their education and career development.
President Akufo-Addo pointed out that the recent ban on illegal small-scale mining had yielded positive results.
It had significantly helped to bring improvement in the quality of water bodies, which, hitherto, had been polluted badly. The other benefit was the also the provision of the needed land resources reclaimed to expand farming activities for increased yield.
The President said the government was determined to boost the production of cash crops, including cocoa, for speedy economic growth.
"Our main objective is to become the world's leading producer of cocoa to surpass La Cote d'Ivoire, within the shortest possible time," he stated.
Nana Bi Kusi Appiah, Paramount Chief of Manso-Nkwanta, asked the youth to avail themselves of government programmes intended to equip them with decent job opportunities.
This, he said, would reduce their susceptibility of being lured into illegal small-scale mining which comes with its own attendant negative consequences.
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